2017–18 SDHL season

The 2017–18 SDHL season was the eleventh season of the Swedish Women's Hockey League (Svenska damhockeyligan, or SDHL). The season began in September 2017 and ended in March 2018.

2017–18 SDHL season
LeagueSweden SDHL
SportIce hockey
  • Scheduled for:
  • September 2017 – February 2018
  • (Regular season)
  • February – March 2018
  • (Playoffs)
Average attendance192
Regular season
First placeLuleå HF/MSSK
Top scorerMichelle Karvinen (Luleå HF/MSSK)
SDHL Finals
ChampionsLuleå HF/MSSK
  Runners-upLinköping HC
SDHL seasons

Significant eventsEdit


After the end of the 2016–17 season, the IF Sundsvall Hockey organisation cut its women's side, despite having managed to save their place in the SDHL during the qualification playoffs the organisation citing a need to save money for its third-tier men's side. The club was criticised for the decision, with forward Mathilda Gustafsson stating that "If we were a company instead of an association, you would never shut down a department which only employed women because the cost inhibits the male employees."[1] The third-placed club in the qualification playoffs, Damettan club Göteborg HC were promoted to the SDHL to take their place for the 2017–18 season.[2] SDE Hockey had finished second in the qualification playoffs, and so were able to secure their SDHL place for 2017–18.

In May 2017, Swedish national team star and former SDHL Defender of the Year Emma Eliasson announced her retirement, citing stress and her controversial removal from the national team.[3] A number of high-profile North American players joined the SDHL as free agents, including Michela Cava and Sidney Morin, as well as Swiss star Lara Stalder, who had been playing at university in Minnesota.[4]

In June 2017, the Swedish Ice Hockey Association announced that it was ending subsidies for foreign player fees in the league, citing a desire to promote the development of Swedish players in the league. This increased the cost of having foreign players on the roster from 5500kr per player to 12 500kr per player. The move was widely condemned by league coaches, with several claiming that the Association had not consulted with the league before making the decision. Swedish national team head coach Leif Boork, however, voiced his support for the decision.[5]

In July 2017, a number of Leksands IF players publicly raised complaints about the organisation's treatment of its women's side, including the fact that the players weren't paid and that they were expected to clean the stands after men’s games.[6]

In August 2017, the independent North American team, the Minnesota Whitecaps, played a one-week tour in Stockholm, playing a total of four matches against the three Stockholm-based SDHL teams.[7]

Regular seasonEdit

On the 18th of November, Göteborg HC picked up their first-ever SDHL win, beating SDE Hockey by a score of 4–2.[8] Later that month, Linköping HC set a new regular season attendance record, with 5128 fans turning out for a match against HV71.[9]

At the 2018 Winter Olympics, held in February in Pyeongchang in Korea, a record number of SDHL players were selected to national team rosters, with 37 players from 5 different countries playing at the tournament.[10]


Luleå HF/MSSK defeated Linköping HC by two games to one in the playoff finals, winning their second championship in three years.[11]


In April 2018, Leksands IF Dam goaltender Leon Reuterström publicly came out as a transgender man, and had to retire due to beginning testosterone therapy, which contravened anti-doping rules in Sweden.[12][13]

Later in April, the Swedish national team players announced that they had unionised under the Swedish Ice Hockey Player’s Central Organization (SICO), the same union that represents the players of the men's national team and of the top-flight domestic men's league, the SHL. The union players also announced their intention to bring the SDHL players into the union in the future.[14]

In June 2018, the SDHL and the NWHL announced that Luleå would compete in an exhibition game against the 2018 Isobel Cup winners, the Metropolitan Riveters in the first-ever Champions Cup.[15]


Each team played 36 regular season games, with three points being awarded for winning in regulation time, two points for winning in overtime or shootout, one point for losing in overtime or shootout, and zero points for losing in regulation time. At the end of the regular season, the team that finishes with the most points is crowned the regular season champion.

The top 8 clubs at the end of the regular season then go on to compete in the playoff quarterfinals in best of three elimination series. The club that advances all the way to the finals and wins is crowned the league champion. The bottom two regular season clubs must face the top Damettan teams in a qualification playoff to determine which two clubs shall compete in the SDHL the following season.

Regular seasonEdit

Pos Team Pld W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Luleå HF/MSSK 36 29 3 2 2 160 58 +102 95 Qualification to Quarter-finals
2 Linköping HC 36 26 3 3 4 135 59 +76 87
3 Modo Hockey 36 24 5 3 4 142 58 +84 85
4 Djurgårdens IF 36 21 4 1 10 118 71 +47 72
5 HV71 36 15 1 3 17 94 100 −6 50
6 Leksands IF 36 13 1 4 18 88 100 −12 45
7 AIK 36 10 0 4 22 74 108 −34 34
8 Brynäs IF 36 9 3 1 23 58 121 −63 34
9 SDE Hockey 36 6 2 0 28 54 137 −83 22 Qualification to Relegation playoffs
10 Göteborg HC 36 4 1 2 29 67 178 −111 16
Source: SDHL.se
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Number of goals scored

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Foster, Meredith (May 31, 2017). "Sundsvall out of SDHL". The Ice Garden.
  2. ^ Foster, Meredith (June 1, 2017). "Göteborg HC joins SDHL". The Ice Garden.
  3. ^ Foster, Meredith (May 10, 2017). "Luleå HF's Emma Eliasson announces retirement from hockey". The Ice Garden.
  4. ^ Foster, Meredith (May 25, 2017). "Michela Cava, Sidney Morin sign in Sweden". The Ice Garden.
  5. ^ Foster, Meredith (June 7, 2017). "Swedish Ice Hockey Association abruptly cuts subsidies for foreign players in SDHL". The Ice Garden.
  6. ^ Foster, Meredith (July 4, 2017). "SDHL Team or maid service? Leskands IF women expected to clean stands after men's games". The Ice Garden.
  7. ^ Foster, Meredith (August 1, 2017). "Minnesota Whitecaps, SDHL to play August exhibition matches". The Ice Garden.
  8. ^ Foster, Meredith (November 18, 2017). "Göteborg HC breaks through with first SDHL win". The Ice Garden.
  9. ^ Foster, Meredith (November 27, 2017). "Linköping smashes SDHL attendance record". The Ice Garden.
  10. ^ Foster, Meredith (February 20, 2018). "There's a Record Number of SDHL Players at the Olympics and it's Awesome". The Ice Garden.
  11. ^ Foster, Meredith (April 2, 2018). "Luleå HF Win SDHL Championship". The Ice Garden.
  12. ^ "Leksandsmålvakten lägger av – kommer ut som transsexuell". Hockeysverige. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  13. ^ "Leon Reuterström om livet under könskorrigeringen". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  14. ^ "Better Together: Swedish Players Unionize". The Ice Garden.
  15. ^ Foster, Meredith (June 5, 2018). "NWHL and SDHL to meet in Champions Cup in Sweden". The Ice Garden.

External linksEdit