League sees 8.4 percent increase

Updated: March 2, 2005, 10:49 AM ET
Associated Press

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Locked-out NHL stars helped the Swedish Elite League set an attendance record this season.

The league said Wednesday that 1.86 million people attended games this season, an 8.4 percent increase from the previous year.

More than 50 NHL players competed in the 12-team league, including Colorado's Peter Forsberg and Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg. The NHL canceled its season last month.

Zetterberg was the league's top scorer with 50 points in 50 games -- 19 goals and 31 assists. The top goal scorers with 26 each were Linkoping's Mike Knuble of the Boston Bruins and Modo's Mattias Weinhandl of the New York Islanders. Henrik Lundqvist of first-place Frolunda was the best goalie, with a 93.55 save percentage.

The regular season ended Tuesday, and the best-of-seven quarterfinals start Friday. The playoffs are expected to last until mid-April.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press