Sens win Alfie love-in

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN -- It was a win in an exhibition game that will hardly be remembered but for what happened after the game.

As the players left the ice after the Senators 4-1 win over the Frolunda Indians, the victory led by captain Daniel Alfredsson's goal and assist in his hometown, the wild, drum-beating, flag-waving fans in the corner took up the chant in Swedish.

"Alfie to Sweden, Alfie to Sweden."

He looked up, the last player on the ice, doing a television interview by the boards and the chant changed.

"Come to the boards! Come to the boards!" they screamed and Alfredsson obliged them, skating over and throwing his stick into the stands.

Alfredsson's homecoming made a game whose result won't be remembered in any record books memorable for the Alfredsson family who were all touched by the outpouring of emotion for the former Frolunda Indian, who helped lead this city to the league championship during the NHL lockout.

Alfredsson scored a beauty of a goal to make it 2-0 for the Senators and assisted on Jason Spezza's goal in the third to close out the scoring as the Senators now look forward to tomorrow's season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Stockholm.

"It will be a day I will always remember. Getting that response is really humbling. It turned out to be everything I expected ... and more," Alfredsson said after the game, which was marred by the departure of centre Mike Fisher after he aggravated a groin injury. "We won the game, I scored a goal and overall I thought we played pretty decent for being on the big ice, which wasn't easy. We're happy."

Alfredsson admitted being nervous coming to the rink after weeks of anticipation and four days of being the focal point of interest here.

"It's been a long couple of weeks," said Henrik Alfredsson, who had lunch during the day yesterday with his brother. "He has been so anxious. You could tell he was really anxious. He was like a five-year-old kid waiting to open the Christmas presents. He had that kind of smile on his face.

FAMILY OVERWHELMED

"The fans were showing their affection for the career he had here and what he's done in Ottawa. He was a proud member of this team and they were showing their respect."

The Alfredsson family was overwhelmed by the emotion shown by the energetic and passionate Frolunda supporters.

"I cried," said Alfredsson's mom, Margareta. "It's so nice to see they remembered him."

"I (cried), too. It's nothing to be ashamed about. It was all so touching," said Hasse Alfredsson of his son's memorable return. "It was unbelievable. Never in my dreams did I think he would have that standing ovation. For the rest of his life he will be remembered as a big player and a big guy. Everybody asks how you are as a player, but how good are you as a man? As a human being? That is the big thing."

After a cautious opening to the game, the Senators, who finished the exhibition season 4-2, got goals from Chris Kelly and Alfredsson 71 seconds apart midway through the first 20 minutes to take a 2-0 lead.

Kelly beat Frolunda defenceman Tomi Kallio to the front of the net to tip in Nick Foligno's setup from the right-wing boards.

CONTINUOUS CHANTING

Alfredsson, hearing his name chanted throughout the game, scored a beauty. He took a pass from Spezza and had a step on an Indians' defender. He swept in and once Frolunda goaltender Ari Ahonen started to slide across, fired a forehand back against the grain, just inside the right post at 13:30.

The Indians caught a break to make it 2-1 when a shot by Oscar Hedman from the top of the left-wing circle deflected off the hip of Senators defenceman Jason Smith and went in over the glove of Senators goaltender Martin Gerber's glove at 11:18 (he faced just 18 shots). But the Senators took control in the third period as defenceman Alexandre Picard and then Spezza, with a wrist shot through a screen, made it 4-1.

"I think we played good in our own end, pretty decent in their end as well ... it was a good way to finish," said Alfredsson. "Obviously, Fisher not finishing the game was not a good thing.

"It's a good test going into Saturday. It's going to be a totally different game and we're going to have a little bit of a different mindset. But I think I think it's a good way for us to finish the training camp."

The result won't be remembered.

The rest? For the Alfredsson clan, unforgettable.


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