Riku Helenius Tops in Swedish Kvalserien

SSK, RBK on verge of protecting spots
Bill Meltzer NHL.com March 31, 2010

In Swedish hockey, the bottom two teams during the Elitserien regular season are forced to play a double-round robin postseason tournament with the top four teams from minor league Allsvenskan. The top two finishers in the qualification series (called kvalserien in Swedish) earn spots in the Swedish Elite League the following season while the rest play in Allsvenskan.

Through the first five games of Kvalserien, the two incumbent Elitserien teams, Södertälje SK and Rögle BK, have jumped ahead of their Allsvenskan pursuers. SSK enjoys a perfect 5-0 record with all the wins coming in regulation, earning all 15 possible points so far. With 10 points, RBK has lost once with two ties. The closest Allsvenskan challengers are former Elitserien clubs AIK Stockholm (7 points) and Leksands IF (6 points).

SSK’s Linus Videll leads the Kvalserien scoring race with 4 goals and 10 points. SSK goalie Riku Helenius has been the top keeper with a 2.00 goals against average, .925 save percentage and the lone shutout recorded by any goalie in the tournament to date.

Additional Reading: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=523401