I’ve been a fan of Gothenburg hockey team Frölunda Indians for as long as I can remember so I might be a bit bias, but hockey in Gothenburg is an experience you definitely will appreciate if you’re a hockey fan. If you don´t trust my bias opinion, how about Huffington Post? According to this article, Gothenburg is one of the best hockey towns in Europe!
WHAT YOU MUST KNOW
Despite being the second largest city in Sweden, there is only one male, elite hockey team in Gothenburg – Frölunda Indians.
Frölunda has won the Swedish league four times: 1965, 2003, 2005 and 2016 and is always considered a strong competitor for the title.
Coach Rönnberg and his offensive hockey
After a couple of unsatisfying years Frölunda made some big changes while hiring Roger Rönnberg as coach in 2013. He had a very strict idea about Frölunda always being the offensive, playmaking team and the players being a mix of young talents from around the country and local players with history in the club (and a couple of top scoring North Americans). This has been a success and the team has not been worst than number 3 in the league since and have had the following play off results: Quaterfinals, Semifinals, Semifinals, Final (Won), Semifinals.
Raised Henrik Lundqvist and Erik Karlsson
Frölunda has also raised a lot of successful NHL- players such as Daniel Alfredsson (prev. OTT), Per-Johan Axelsson (prev. BOS), Henrik Lundqvist (NYR), Erik Karlsson (OTT) and Loui Eriksson (BOS). Alexander Steen, Alexander Wennberg, Frederick Andersen and John Klingberg have also been successfull in Frölunda.
The highest league in Sweden is called SHL (Swedish Hockey Leauge) and contains of 14 teams. They all play 52 matches per season and 8 teams qualifies for the Play-offs in the spring. The season is played September – April, with the play-in (teams 7-10 trying to reach the play offs) and the play-offs starting in March.The quarterfinals, semifinals and final are always played best of 7.
The two last teams will face the best teams of the second division Hockeyallsvenskan to fight for their existence in the top league.
Last season 2016/2017 the team HV71 from Jönköping won against Brynäs from Gävle. (Frölunda lost their semi-finals against Brynäs)
Champinons Hockey League
Frölunda also plays in the Champions Hockey League ( A European league, started in 2014/2015) and has been the winner two years in a row (2016, 2017) and been in the final all three years. Despite the success, the fans still don´t really consider the league as big and exiting as the domestic SHL and the CHL games are played at Frölundaborg (the teams “second arena” for 6044 people).
Frölunda plays there home games in Scandinavium. In my opinion, with a lot of great memories from this place, Scandinavium is a fantastic place for hockey. The opposite teams often speak about the difficulty in winning against Frölunda in Gothenburg. Scandinavium was build in 1971 with some build outs and upgrades a long the way and the arena is also used for conserts, shows and other sport events. When it´s time for hockey, this round-shaped home of the Indians has room for 12 044 cheering fans and the walls of is light up in red and green!
Frölunda has the largest audience in the league, mostly because Scandinavium is the arena with the biggest capacity, although a lot of fans consider 9-10 thousand as “pretty bad” remembering an era with “full houses” and the play offs meaning standing in que for hours to get tickets. Despite the fact that the team never played such entertaining, offensive hockey as now a days the audience has in fact decreased. High prices, a lot of games (oh, please!) and the increased oppportunities to watch the league on TV is the commonly named reasons for the lack of “Frölundaits” showing up on game day.
Scandivium has a section (Section A and B) for the Supporters club Goa Gubbar who sings and keep up the spirit during the games.
FUN TO KNOW
RIVALS Frölunda´s biggest rival is Färjestad (from Karlstad) which mostly leads back to the period between 2003-2008 when the two teams faced each other in the play offs 4 times (3 finals) in 6 years. There are also a lot of Färjestad fans living in Gothenburg. Although some fans (perhaps younger) might consider Skellefteå AIK as the biggest rivals due to the latest years when the teams has faced eachother in the play offs two years in a row (Frölunda has won both) and Skellefteå being the true dominat and the team to beat in Swedish hockey during the latest years, reaching the finals 6 years in a row (2011-2016).
FAN FAVORITES If you want to be able to name one present player, it should probably be Joel Lundqvist (#20), the captain since 2009 with 15 seasons for Frölunda. Lundqvist has won the series three times with Frölunda and has represented Sweden in over 180 games with three World Cup titles. He is also the twin brother of New York Rangers goalie Henrik.
Last season, now 17 year old Rasmus Dahlin made a great impact on not only hockey-Sweden, but the Hockey- world. Luckily for us, he still plays in Frölunda. Watch his magic here.
There are also a few americans in the team this season. One fan favorite from the “Gold season” 15/16 Ryan Lasch made a much appreciated comeback for this season and is the teams scoring leader.
GÖTAPLATSEN When winning the league, it’s a tradition to greet the team at the top of the Avenue – by the statue of Poseidon at Götaplatsen. When the team won in 2003, 50 000 people was there to celebrate – filling the entire Avenue.
What are you waiting for ? Buy tickets here!
If you wish to know more, go to frolundaindians.com or why not contact me through a comment below – I love to talk about Frölunda!
When? The SHL season starts mid September and ends in March/April. Games is normally played Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with some exceptions. View Frölundas game schedule at www.frolundaindians.com
Where? Frölunda Indians plays their home games at Scandinavium, Vallhallagatan 1 (close to Gothia Towers, Liseberg, Korsvägen)
How to get their? Trams 2,6,8 and 13 all stops at the arena but it´s easy to walk to Scandinavium from anywhere in the city centre.
Price: Between 60-475 Kr per ticket during the regular season.