Goalie Ben Bowns stretches for the puck against Frolunda Indians. Pic: Helen Brabon.

Four-Goal LA Kings Teenager ‘Sniper Sam’ Leads Indians On Champions League Charge Against Devils

Cardiff Devils 2, Frolunda Indians 9

Cardiff Devils were shot down by a teenage Swedish sniper in their Champions Hockey League match against Frolunda Indians in Cardiff Bay.

Los Angeles Kings NHL draft pick Samuel Fagemo, a 19-year-old Gothenburg-born forward currently playing for his home city club, scored four goals at the Viola Arena and sent Devils crashing out of Europe.

Fagemo, whose dad Linus played professional hockey in Sweden, Germany and Denmark between 1995 and 2012, was selected by Kings in the second round, 50th overall, in the 2019 NHL draft.

This was, without doubt, a result that will sting Devils, conceding nine goals against the Swedish and European champions for the second time in this group, but they can reflect on their Champions Hockey League performance with pride.

Cardiff won three of their six group matches and their fate was only decided in this final fixture. They will finish third behind Frolunda and Czech team Mountfield HK.

“It’s gut-wrenching, real painful,” said Cardiff coach Andrew Lord. “We were real close. The scoreline looks really bad, but those first two periods we were right in there.

“There were a couple of missed assignments and I have never faced a team with that sort of firepower and killer instinct. Give them a couple of inches and they put it away.

“The three wins were huge. I would have liked first 10 minutes of the Mountfield match back, but overall we played some great hockey in this tournament.

“Frolunda’s fourth goal stung. We pushed a bit in the second, but the third goal went in after an unbelievable blocked shot. The puck went back on their stick and they found net.

“We clawed back, scored our second and that re-energised the building. Re-energised out boys.

“Overall, we were difficult to play against. I liked a lot of our game and we’ll take more lessons from this again.

“Frolunda are an unbelievable hockey team any way you cut it.

“We have such team togetherness and then some. The players enjoy coming to the rink, getting better, going to battle for each other. They played a lot of great hockey 

“The skies the limit for this team. It’s so enjoyable to work this group right now.”

Indians coach Roger Rönnberg is a big fan of four-goal Fagemo , promoting the young forward to the top line alongside captain Joel Lundqvist and American forward Ryan Lasch when he first broke into the team.

Rönnberg sent him out against Devils with Lasch, who finished the match with five assists, and Simon Hjalmarsson.

Fagemo has been nicknamed ‘the sniper’ by Frolunda’s coach is burning with ambition and felt shunned when nobody selected him in the 2018 NHL draft.

When LA Kings snapped him up this year he said: “I see this as my revenge after not being chosen last summer.”

https://twitter.com/cardiffdevils/status/1184225088276697089?s=20

Kings have Fagemo to a three-year entry-level contract and he tweeted: “So proud and happy to be part of the @lakings organisation. A big dream come true. Thankful for all the support I got during the way. Excited for LA!”

Christian Ruuttu, Kings’ head European scout, says: “Samuel is a high-energy player who scores goals. He is fearless when it comes to attacking the net.”

Blair Riley and Mark Richardson scored Cardiff goals against Frölunda  and the Welsh club competed hard for the first two periods before losing the final 20 minutes 5-0.

It was a huge, 60-minute performance by Frölunda Indians and they have qualified for the last 16 knockout stages along with Mountfield HK from group H.

“It’s not easy to come here and play in front of these Cardiff fans,” Samuel Fagemo told Champions Hockey League media. 

“It was a really fun game and we’re excited to play in the play-offs.”

Devils captain Joey Martin said: “We played a lot of good minutes. The first two periods we were pretty good.

“The scoreline doesn’t reflect how well we played. Their special teams were great again even though I felt we did a pretty good job ourselves.”

Devils now turn to Elite League and Challenge Cup challenges, starting against Nottingham Panthers at home on Saturday (7pm).

Their other remaining fixtures this month are against Panthers away (Sunday, League), Guildford (Cup, away, Saturday 26), Guildford (Cup, home, Sunday 27) and Coventry Blaze (Cup, home, Wednesday 30).

Match stats:

Scorers, Devils: Blair Riley 1+0, Mark Richardson 1+0, Joey Haddad 0+1, Gleason Fournier 0+1, Matias Sointu 0+1, Stephen Dixon 0+1

Indians: Samuel Fagemo 4+0, Simon Hjalmarsson 2+0, Anders Grönlund 1+0, Max Friberg 1+0, Rhett Rakhshani 1+2, Ryan Lasch 0+5, Karl Stollery 0+1, Jacob Peterson 0+1, Brandon Gormley 0+2, Nicklas Lasu 0+1, Jacob Moverare 0+1

Period scores (Devils first): 0-1; 2-3 (2-4); 0-5 (2-9) 

Cardiff Devils players celebrate Blair Riley’s goal. Pic: Helen Brabon.

Penalties in minutes: Devils 2+6+2=10; Indians 4+2+6=12

Shots blocked: Devils 6, Indians 7

Shots on goal: Devils (on Johan Mattsson) 24, Indians (on Ben Bowns) 36

Face-offs won: Devils 31, Indians 19

Attendance: 2,689

Referees: Michael Tscherring, Liam Sewell

Cardiff Devils team:

Goalie: Ben Bowns, back-up Thomas Murdy

First line: Gleason Fournier, Mark Richardson, Mike McNamee, Joey Martin, Matthew Pope

Second lone: Sam Jardine, Bryce Reddick, Charles Linglet, Stephen Dixon, Blair Riley
Third line: Sean McMonagle, Mark Louis, Masi Marjamaki, Joey Haddad, Matias Sointu
Fourth line: Toms Rutkis, Josh Batch. Matthew Myers, Sam Duggan

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