Vasteras 5 vs. Karlskoga 1
Brendan Mikkelson , Vasteras, 0-1-1, +1, 2 SOG, 0 PIM
Season totals: 5 GP, 0-1-1, E, 4 PIM
Patrik Berglund and Matt Fornataro scored less than a minute apart near the middle of the second period to break up a one-all tie and help push Vasteras, now 4-1 with Brendan Mikkelson in the lineup, to victory Saturday night that put the home club within reach of first place. Mikkelson registered his first point of the season with a primary assist on Mikael Backlund's third period goal. On the play, Mikkelson sidestepped a fore-checker at the top of the left circle while looking to escape his own zone and then, after slipping into the neutral zone, fed a cross-ice pass slightly slightly behind a hard-charging Backlund who tapped the puck between his legs from behind in stride before firing a heavy wrister as he slowed up near the right hash that beat Karlskoga netminder Joel Gistedt. Berglund scored another goal, a short-handed empty-netter, during garbage time after Karlskoga, in a last act of desperation, pulled Gistedt despite being behind by three goals. Vasteras' Lars Johansson was a rock in net, stopping 37 of 38 shots to earn his 14th win. Vasteras (13-7-2-0, 43 PTS) will be tested again on Tuesday when they take on Leksands (13-3-1-4, 45 PTS), the league's other co-leader.