Save of the year? Swedish Hockey League goalie makes heroic diving play to prevent a goal

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The best hockey save of the year might’ve just happened in Sweden thanks to a goaltender who initially didn’t recognize he needed to make one.

Gustaf Lindvall is a goalie for Skellefteå AIK in the Swedish Hockey League. In a semifinal playoff game against Frölunda HC on Tuesday, he made a full-extension diving stick save to prevent a goal.

Lindvall watched from his crease as opposing goalie Lars Johansson got tangled up with Skellefteå forward Linus Lindstrom. The referee gave a delayed penalty to Lindstrom for goalie interference. Lindvall assumed that play had been stopped for the penalty and wandered from the paint to the corner of the zone, which he usually does when there’s a whistle.

Except, there was no whistle — the play hadn’t stopped.

Frölunda forward Jayden Halbgewachs saw the wide-open net at the other end and shot the puck from the neutral zone. As Lindwall realized his mistake, he turned and dove back across the ice, raising his goalie stick high enough with his right arm to deflect the puck out of play with the shaft of his stick.

Frölunda ended up defeating Skellefteå AIK, 2-0. Lindvall finished with 21 saves, including one that’s going to be played in highlight reels for years to come.

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