|Hockey Hall of Fame, 2004|
16 April 1935|
|Died||6 March 2010
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)|
|Played for||Surahammars IF
Västra Frölunda IF
Erik Ronald "Sura-Pelle" Pettersson (16 April 1935 – 6 March 2010) was a Swedish ice hockey player. He played 252 international games for Sweden between 1955 and 1967, including thirteen World Championships and three Olympic Games. Between 1951 and 1967 Pettersson played for Surahammars IF, Södertälje SK and Västra Frölunda IF. He won the Swedish championship twice, in 1956 with Södertälje and in 1965 with Västra Frölunda. He won Guldpucken in 1959–60 as the most valuable player in Swedish Championship playoffs.
After suffering a career-ending injury in 1967, Pettersson took on the role as head coach for the Swedish national junior team from 1968 to 1974, the Swedish national senior team from 1974 to 1976, and the Norwegian national men's team from 1978 to 1981. He was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2004, and his jersey #14 was retired by Västra Frölunda in 2002.
Pettersson was born on April 16, 1935 in Surahammar, a rural industrial town where the name Ronald was unusual, thus the locals nicknamed him Collman, after the famous actor Ronald Colman. Pettersson was a natural athletic talent, in his youth he played tennis and table tennis with good results. He started playing bandy as a goalkeeper since his skating was of poor quality, as he developed his skating ability he moved to the outfield. He played his first ice hockey game with Surahammars IF's senior team in an exhibition game against Avesta BK during the autumn of 1952.
During the 1952–53 season Pettersson debuted at age 17 for his hometown team Surahammars IF in Division 1, the highest level of ice hockey in Sweden at the time. He played five games, scoring no goals. The following season Pettersson played ten games, scoring nine goals, only one goal shy of the team's scoring leader Arne Holmgren. Surahammar were relegated to Division 2 for the 1954–55 season, where Pettersson set a new club record as he scored 23 goals in seven games. In 1955 Pettersson left Surahammar as he was enlisted to do conscript service in the Swedish Navy, stationed in Stockholm's archipelago. In Stockholm he was supposed to sign a contract with Djurgårdens IF, but rival club Södertälje SK were faster with the transfer papers and Pettersson signed with them instead. In 1956 he won the Swedish Championship with Södertälje, scoring one goal in the decisive game against Djurgården which Södertälje won 3–1.
|Competitor for Sweden|
|1964 Innsbruck||Ice hockey|
|1957 Moscow||Ice hockey|
|1962 Colorado Springs||Ice hockey|
|1963 Stockholm||Ice hockey|
|1967 Vienna||Ice hockey|
|1958 Oslo||Ice hockey|
|1965 Tampere||Ice hockey|
|1975 Munich||Ice hockey|
|1976 Katowice||Ice hockey|
Pettersson played for Sweden in all thirteen international championships between 1955 and 1967, totaling 252 games for the national team. Pettersson, a right winger, together with centre Nisse Nilsson and left winger Lars Erik Lundvall, formed the legendary ungdomskedjan (youth line), one of the most successful and considered as Tre Kronor's best line ever.
He made his debut for Juniorkronorna in February 1954, and for Tre Kronor when they played two games against Norway in Stockholm on 26 and 27 November 1954. He was selected to Tre Kronor's roster for the 1955 World Championship, he scored his first tournament goal, assisted by Sven "Tumba" Johansson, in a 9–0 win against Poland in the last game of the championship.
Pettersson was a hard-working right winger, who played an efficient game and made every minute on the ice count. He was a fast skater, and had a well-developed goal-scoring ability. He was considered a team player, not a crowd pleaser or a man for newspaper headlines, despite his natural athletic talent. Like a chess player he always thought one step ahead, knewing what do to when he received the puck, he was sly, cunning, coldblooded and could always do unexpected moves. His passing game was of high quality and precision, he was a good shooter but rarely used powerful shots, instead he preferred well placed precision shots which had a remarkable ability to find the net.
With his 252 games Pettersson is ranked fourth all-time in games played for Tre Kronor. His feat was long considered an unbreakable record, but he was surpassed by Thomas Rundqvist in 1993 and later by Jonas Bergqvist and Jörgen Jönsson.
He became the fiftieth ice hockey player to receive Stora Grabbars Märke.
Regular season and playoffs
|1952–53||Surahammars IF||Division 1||5||0||—||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|1953–54||Surahammars IF||Division 1||10||9||—||9||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|1954–55||Surahammars IF||Division 2||7||23||—||23||8||2||4||—||4||0|
|1955–56||Södertälje SK||Division 1||10||11||—||11||—||6||8||—||8||—|
|1956–57||Södertälje SK||Division 1||14||12||13||25||2||6||5||3||8||0|
|1957–58||Södertälje SK||Division 1||14||24||15||39||2||6||5||2||7||2|
|1958–59||Södertälje SK||Division 1||14||14||7||21||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|1959–60||Södertälje SK||Division 1||14||19||16||35||10||6||7||1||8||12|
|1960–61||Västra Frölunda IF||Division 2||14||33||—||33||—||6||9||—||9||—|
|1961–62||Västra Frölunda IF||Division 1||14||9||13||22||—||7||4||4||8||—|
|1962–63||Västra Frölunda IF||Division 1||13||23||14||37||—||7||3||1||4||—|
|1963–64||Västra Frölunda IF||Division 1||21||20||10||30||20||—||—||—||—||—|
|1964–65||Västra Frölunda IF||Division 1||14||3||6||9||23||14||14||2||16||2|
|1965–66||Västra Frölunda IF||Division 1||21||12||17||29||18||8||8||3||11||6|
|1966–67||Västra Frölunda IF||Division 1||20||16||13||29||14||7||4||3||7||0|
|1967–68||Västra Frölunda IF||Division 1||14||11||5||16||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|Division 1 totals||198||183||129||312||105||67||58||19||77||22|
|Division 2 totals||21||56||—||56||8||8||13||—||13||0|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Pettersson had a two-year stint with IFK Göteborg in Allsvenskan, the top level football league in Sweden. When Pettersson was acquired by Västra Frölunda IF in 1960, Västra Frölunda's manager Anders Bernmar had talked IFK Göteborg into helping Västra Frölunda with the acquisition, after convincing them that Pettersson not only was a good ice hockey player but a good football player too. During the 1960 season, his first season with IFK, he scored two goals in eight matches in Allsvenskan, and fourteen goals in seven friendly matches. IFK Göteborg finished eight in Allsvenskan. The following season Pettersson scored two goals in six matches in Allsvenskan and matched the numbers in friendly matches. IFK Göteborg won bronze this season, Västra Frölunda had won promotion to Division 1 in ice hockey and Pettersson did not play football again.
- Björklund 2002, pp. 34
- Pointscoring (in Swedish), Surahammars IF, retrieved 2008-12-13
- En legend hyllas i Södertälje (in Swedish), Svenska Hockeyligan AB, 2007-12-07, retrieved 2008-12-13
- Nilsson, Kjell (2003-12-03), "Svenskar in i hockeyns Hall of Fame", Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish), retrieved 2008-12-12
- 200-klubben (PDF) (in Swedish), Swedish Ice Hockey Association, 2008-06-06, retrieved 2008-12-13
- Stor dag för Surahammar: Ronald "Sura-Pelle" Pettersson och Ove Dahlberg invalda i IIHF:s Hall of Fame (in Swedish), Swedish Ice Hockey Association, 2003-12-04, retrieved 2008-12-13
- Hedersmedlemmar i Surahammars IF (in Swedish), Surahammars IF, retrieved 2008-12-13
- Jönsson 2004, pp. 281–282
- Szemberg 1994, pp. 72
- Björklund, Lars-Gunnar (2002), Tre Kronor genom tiderna, Sportförlaget i Europa AB, ISBN 91-88541-43-6, OCLC 186003701
- Jönsson, Ingemar (2004), IFK Göteborg 1904–2004, Idrottsföreningen Kamraterna Göteborg, ISBN 91-631-4659-2, OCLC 186479357
- Szemberg, Szymon (1994), Västra Frölunda 50 år, Sportförlaget i Europa AB, ISBN 91-88540-34-0, OCLC 186059734
- Ronald Pettersson's career statistics at EliteProspects.com
- Ronald Pettersson profile at Eurohockey.com