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Science on Ice With Frölunda Indians


Better practices and game scores by using science and evidence-based knowledge. This is the goal of team video analyst Erik Lignell’s PhD project at the University of Gothenburg.

Erik Lignell will complete his PhD as an externally employed doctoral student, and his PhD project will focus on game analysis in ice hockey. Alongside his studies, he will continue his job for the Frölunda Indians hockey team as analyst and assistant coach under head coach Roger Rönnberg.

‘I will analyse various situations that occur in a hockey game. The parts of the game that can be analysed include a player’s skating, speed and how he passes and shoots the puck. This can help us understand what goes on on the ice and how it affects the game. A hockey game can provide a great deal of information, and in that intense flow of data, it is important to be able to identify the relevant information,’ says Erik Lignell.

Video and Statistics

In his current role as video analyst, he analyses games and practices using video technology and statistics in continuous interaction with the other team coaches.

‘Together with the other coaches, I pick out video sequences that we discuss and show to the players to help them develop their game. My PhD project will hopefully lead to improved knowledge about the players’ performance and in a next step to optimised ice hockey,’ says Lignell.

The Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science has a well-established group of researchers specialising in practice and game analysis in team sports. This is the group that now will be expanded to also include studies in ice hockey.

Better tactical dispositions

Professor Claes Annerstedt, department head, is excited about the new collaboration.

‘The University helps Frölunda Indians – and by extension ice hockey in general – apply science in practice and base their practices and games on evidence-based knowledge. In return, the collaboration gives the University of Gothenburg access to a top-class sport environment for studies of teaching and learning and where the focus is on performance development,’ he says.

‘Detailed analyses through both systematised GPS knowledge and physiological knowledge contribute for example to better planning of practices and better tactical dispositions.’

Christian Lechtaler, general manager of Frölunda Indians, has the following to say about the collaboration:

‘We keep developing our staff and encourage individuals who want to move forward. The way we see it, the collaboration with the University of Gothenburg benefits both Frölunda Indians and Erik Lignell. A win-win-win situation.’