Each winter the citizens of Gävle illegally erect a giant straw goat in the centre of town, then illegally burn it down. The whole sordid tale.
Skellefteå AIK are playing Brynäs IF of Gävle in the SM-slutspel quarterfinals. SM-slutspel, the Swedish equivalent to the Stanley Cup playoffs, literally means Swedish Master Endgame, and lends the proceedings some of the intellectual aura of a chess championship. Brynäs are the defending Swedish champions, but they finished this regular season in eighth, earning themselves a pairing with first-place SAIK. Ottawa's Jakob Silfverberg played for Brynäs.
Each series in the SM-slutspel is best of seven, the games alternating ABAB(ABA) in contrast to the NHL's AABB(ABA). Today is the fourth game of the series, so it's in Gävle.
SAIK won the first game 5 - 0, the second game 3 - 7 in Gävle, and the third game 4 - 1. They can eliminate Brynäs today. [And they do. SAIK win 0 - 4, and sweep the series.]
The Playoff to the Kvalserien concluded March 13th. This playoff pitted the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh teams of the HockeyAllsvenskan against one another in a round robin for the final spot in the Kvalserien. Each team plays each other team twice, and the one with the most points moves on to the Kvalserien. The wrinkle is that the teams are also given points according to their position in the regular season standings. So before any games were played BIK Karlskoga had 4 points, Djurgårdens had 3, Örebro 2 and Oskarshamn 1. Örebro won.
So now the Kvalserien has begun. The six clubs Timrå, Rögle, Leksand, Södertälje, Västerås and Örebro will compete in a round robin for two spots in next season's Elitserien.
The HockeyAllsvenkan doesn't just supply rising clubs to the Elitserien, it receives them from Division 1. The Kval till HockeyAlsvenskan has begun, featuring six clubs, among them former Swedish champion Björklöven.