Swede debut for Alfredsson

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

Though he'd rather be playing at the Corel Centre, Daniel Alfredsson was a home-town hero with a goal and assist last night in Sweden.

The Senators captain, wearing No. 9, was given a loud ovation by the packed house of 12,044 as he was introduced in Goteborg to the Frolunda Indians lineup in a 5-2 victory over Lulea at Scandinavian Arena.

While Alfredsson, 32, was pleased to make a return to a place he hasn't played in more than 10 years, playing for the Senators in front 18,500 fans is what he'd prefer to be doing.

MISSES OTTAWA

"Ottawa is where I want to be playing right now," Alfredsson told the Sun last night. "This is a good opportunity for me to get a chance to play here in Sweden in front of my family and friends in my home town.

"But the situation is what it is with the lockout right now. It's probably the best thing for me to be playing here and it's fun for me to be able to do it because I didn't think I would get the chance to come back and play here in my career. Still, this is not where I want to play."

Alfredsson played 13 minutes as the Indians rolled four lines in the victory. He picked up an assist on a goal by Christian Backman on Lulea goalie Manny Fernandez. Alfredsson scored an empty-net goal in the third period.

"I was okay. I tried to keep it simple," said Alfredsson, who hadn't played since Sweden was eliminated from the World Cup in August. "It felt pretty good. It was definitely tough. I felt better as the game went on.

NICE RECEPTION

"The good thing for me was we rolled four lines and that helped a lot. It was hard sometimes and it's easy to get over-ambitious. There were a few times I had to think twice out there."

The reception from the crowd was a bonus.

"I didn't expect that and I was really surprised," he said. "I knew nothing of it.

"I expected it to be real low key. But it was a great feeling. It gave me goose bumps."

So, why did he wear No. 9?

"Well, the No. 11 wasn't available and I wanted to wear a low number. I used to wear that number when I played soccer as a kid. I thought that would be a good choice," said Alfredsson.


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