On Saturday afternoon, in front of 7,382 fans at the Tegera Arena – roughly double the size of the crowds he’s been playing in front of in Sweden and less than half as many as he’s used to in the States – Anze Kopitar skated in his fourth game for Mora IK.
It could be argued that the 25-year old Slovenian, locked out of the NHL for the past few weeks, is playing for the love of the game these days. Centering a line that features his brother on left wing has worked out well so far, as the team is now 3-1 since he arrived. However, after Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win, it’s Gasper who leads the Kopitar family in goals at the moment. Anze finished the game without a shot on goal for the second straight contest, but won 14-of-21 (67%) in the faceoff circle. Through four games now, he’s accumulated a goal and five assists.
Meanwhile, Gasper scored Mora’s second goal of the game on Saturday – giving him two goals and one assist on the season.
Because Mora IK (short for Ishockeyklubb) and Leksands IF (short for Idrottsförening, which translates to ‘sports club’) are located in the Dalarna province, when the two teams meet it’s called a ‘derby.’ Basically, it’s like saying they’re cross-town rivals. Here’s some pictures and video highlights from what went down…
MayorsManor was the first to bring you photos from Anze’s adventures in Sweden, including posting photos of him mere minutes after he took the ice for warm-ups in his first game last weekend. We’ve continued to bring you photos and videos since then (game one here, game two here) and will do so until the NHL lockout ends.
Mora and the Kopitar brothers will play again on Wednesday, taking on former Kings center Jared Aulin and Örebro HK.