Monday, September 1, 2014 - Submitted by Tina Girdler
Mustangs forward Viktor Gibbs Sjödin won the 2014 AIHL Finals Most Valuable Player award after the Melbourne Mustangs defeated the Melbourne Ice 6-1 to win the Goodall Cup on Sunday.
“All the guys were joking, ‘how many goals is he going to get today?” Gibbs Sjödin said after claiming two goals and two assists on Saturday before a hat trick and an assist on Sunday. “So I was pretty lucky and fortunate to get the good chances and score goals. I’m really happy we won this.”
Gibbs Sjödin led the Mustangs with five goals for eight points in the playoff games. He and Jamie Bourke (three goals, five assists) were a big part of the Mustangs offensive juggernaut that claimed 12 goals from the two games over the weekend.
Scoring 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) from 22 points this season, Gibbs Sjödin stepped up his game even further to ensure the Mustangs’ first trip to the playoffs was a successful one.
“When I came to the club they wanted to win this whole thing, they wanted to be better than last year,” Gibbs Sjödin said. “They’re a young organisation so I’m really happy for everyone involved including the volunteers and everyone around. It’s been a really fun experience for me.”
As well as qualifying for the club’s first ever playoffs, the Mustangs also claimed the H. Newman Reid Trophy for minor premiers of the regular season. Taking home the 2014 Goodall Cup marked the culmination of years of hard work for the organisation and players saw the effect Gibbs Sjödin had on the team in the post season.
Mustangs alternate captain Brendan McDowell described him as being almost a new player on the ice.
“He was always a big part of the team throughout the season but just took it to a whole new level in the playoffs,” McDowell said. “Every single time he was on the ice he was a presence creating opportunities on net. He’s just over a 100kg and really hard for defenders to handle; having that strength and size in our line up is important because the majority of us are little guys so massive part of the team.”
Mustangs regular season scoring leader and alternate captain Pat O’Kane lauded him as a great guy both on and off the ice.
“He’s an incredible player with his talents, his character, his personality; I’m so proud to have been his teammate,” O’Kane said. “I hope he comes back and that’s up to him but this year we’ll never forget so thank you to him, [Jeffrey Grant] and [Jack Wolgemuth] and everyone.”
With the vocal Mustangs crowd regularly chanting “Viktor, Viktor” throughout the Finals campaign, there will be plenty of interest from fans and opposition before next season as to whether the popular Swede will return to The Stable for the Goodall Cup defence in 2015.