Lennart Haggroth, a goaltender with the Swedish national team in the 1960s, passed away in Skelleftea, Sweden on 28 August. He was 76 years old. Nicknamed “Klimpen” (rough translation: nugget), he was small and stocky but quick on his feet.
Without doubt his finest moment came at the 1962 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Colorado Springs, USA. Haggroth played in five of Sweden’s seven games, including the historic 5-3 win over Canada, en route to gold.
That was the first win for Sweden over the Canadians in 13 tries spread over 31 years and the first time Sweden had scored more than two goals in a game against Canada.
Haggroth’s exploits in 1962 were so impressive that he was named IIHF Directorate Best Goalie and named to the 1962 All-Star Team, the first time a Swedish goalie had earned those distinctions.
The backup in 1962 was Kjell Svensson, who shortly assumed the starter’s role for the national team, and Haggroth became the backup. Haggroth also played one game at the 1963 Worlds, winning a silver on home soil in Stockholm, and three games at the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck (earning another silver).
At the club level in Sweden, Haggroth played for two decades in a distinguished career. His resume included nine years with Kiruna over two stints (1954-61, 1966-68), five years with Skelleftea (1961-66), and four years with Clemensnas (1969-73).