Linn Peterson scored twice in the first four minutes for Lulea and while Brynas rallied back to 2-3, Petra Nieminen’s two goals in the second half of the game gave Lulea the win. Sara Grahn made 28 saves in Lulea’s goal.
The goals were Peterson’s first points in the playoffs.
“I don’t know what to say,” she said. “It was nice to win in front of 8,000 people who more or less hate us.”
“This feels awesome. I’m so proud of the team. It was a tough series, the crowd was great and Brynas a great opponent. These are the moments you want to experience as a player,” Lulea captain, Finnish Olympian Jenni Hiirikoski said.
In Lulea, the women’s team is living the catchphrase. This season, Lulea won the SDHL title with 3-2 in games against Brynas, the runaway regular season winner. They finished on top of the standings with 93 points and goal differential of 110, while the runner-up, Linkoping had just 77 points and Lulea 75 points.
In the first round, Brynas cruised to the final without losing a game, and a 26-2 goal differential in five games.
But Lulea had what it takes to win the big games.
Since 2018, Lulea has won four SDHL title and in 2020, the one missing season, Lulea made it to the final, and lost Game 1 to HV71 when the pandemic forced the shutting down of the season so that no champion was crowned.
This season, Lulea recorded its worst regular season finish in years when the team finished third. That alone tells you what a dynasty Lulea has built in northern Sweden in recent years. Once the playoffs began, the team kicked in another gear, and after their first round win over Djurgarden, they downed regular-season runner-up Linkoping in four games, securing their fifth final berth in five years, and sixth in seven years.
“We weren’t favourites this season, we have a younger team and also some new players who have stepped up and we’ve been growing as a team the whole year,” Hiirikoski said.
For Brynas, it was the second straight final loss and the club will now have some re-building to do. Josefin Boaveng, who finished fourth in playoffs scoring with 11 points in ten games has committed to the University of Minnesota next season. Head coach Henrik Glaas also announced that he’d be stepping down after three seasons behind the bench.