On Saturday Skellefteå visited local rivals Luleå HF. You can tell both clubs are from northern Sweden because their names end in "-eå". SAIK won 3 - 4 after a tie-breaking shootout. Two assists to George ("Bud") Holloway who leads the scoring race by eleven points.
Färjestad BK come to Skellefteå Kraft Arena today trailing SAIK by eight points with only four games remaining in the schedule. If SAIK beat Färjestad, and HV71 lose their game, SAIK will clinch first place in the Elitserien for the first time since 1981.
[Skellefteå win 3 - 2 in regulation time. One assist to George ("Bud") Holloway. HV71 win in overtime, so they now sit nine points back with three games to go. In order for SAIK not to finish first they have to lose their remaining three games in regulation time and HV71 have to win their remaining three in regulation time and make up a goal difference of 29.]
The European Women's Champions Cup was played in Oulu, Finland this weekend between four of Europe's 2012's playoff winners: Kärpät Oulu (Finland), MODO Örnsköldsvik (Sweden), Tornado Moscow Region (Russia), and ZSC Lions Zurich (Switzerland). Tornado won for the second year in a row.
Dunfermline Fact: The Dunfermline Underground has one stop.
Dunfermline host Morton today in a clash of the first- and third-place clubs. As home team Dunfermline should be favourites, but you will recall that Morton have yet to lose an away game. The Pars need to win this one to get back in promotion contention. And Morton had better make sure they win today, because Partick are playing Airdrie at Firhill, almost a guaranteed three points for Thistle.
Partick Thistle played one of their games in hand on Tuesday, beating Hamilton 1 - 0. They enter today's play five points behind Morton with two games in hand.
How many points do Morton need to earn promotion? One more than Partick. Okay, try it this way: how many points have the past ten First Division champions earned? 79, 70, 73, 65, 76, 66, 76, 75, 70 and 81, for an average of 73.1. Morton are on course to finish with 73.5.
Rangers Reserves have won the Reserve League. Morton Reserves, with a game in hand, can do no better (or worse) than second.
Dunfermline Fact: the "bluid red wine" was in all probability Buckfast.
[The Ton beat the Pars 1 - 4. Morton goals by MacDonald (2) and Tidser (2). Partick win against Airdrie, so Thistle remain five points behind with two games in hand. Airdrie have been mathematically eliminated from the First Division championship race.]
The Japanese football season begins today with the playing of the 2013 Super Cup between J-League title holders Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Emperor's Cup winners Kashiwa Reysol. Both clubs have won this super trophy once already, Kashiwa last year, and Hiroshima in 2008. [Sanfrecce win 1 - 0.]
Tomorrow it's the Derby della Madonnina, as Inter Milan host AC Milan. [1 - 1.]
Dunfermline Fact: Dunfermline Athletic are called the Pars because none of them has ever shot better than 72.
Kamisaka Sekka was a Art Nouveau-influenced printmaker of the Meiji period who was curious about the Japonisme of the West, and spent some time in Charles Rennie MacIntosh's Glasgow. The Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture did an exhibition of his work in 2012. This print of rice paddies in spring is from the collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art.
Since last we spoke: Feb. 2nd: Timrå beat Skellefteå 3 - 2. Bud Holloway had a goal and an assist. The Elitserien took Feb. 3rd - 10th off for an international tournament called the Oddset Games. Finland won it. Feb. 12th: Linköpings 3 - 5
Skellefteå AIK. Feb. 14th: HV71 4 - 0 SAIK. Ouch! But SAIK still hold first place by four points.
Today AIK visit SAIK.
In an earlier post I suggested that AIK is the Swedish equivalent of YMCA. A closer match would probably be Amateur Athletic Association, as in Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, the first holders of the Stanley Cup. The early Ottawa Senators were an offshoot of the Ottawa Amateur Athletic Association. AIK stands for Allmänna Idrottsklubben, or General Sports Club.
[Skellefteå win 5 - 2. They reach the 100 point mark, with six games remaining. Bud Holloway gets a goal and two assists.]