Heidi Hannula

Kärpät had a seemingly strong start to the game. During the first half of the first period Ilves only got one genuine scoring chance. Eetu Päkkilä´s sharp wrist shot did not, however, go pass Kärpät goalie Justus Annunen.

First goal was recorded after around five minutes when Kärpät´s dominance finally paid off. After a face-off win Mikko Niemelä stroke the puck into the net pass Ilves´ goalie. Only shortly after, on their power play, Kärpät scored again. Shaun Heshka´s shot hit the goalpost after which Aleksi Mustonen managed to capitalize from a rebound.

This last goal seemed to work as sort of a wake-up call for Ilves. Julius Hermonen received a minor penalty for tripping and thereby Ilves a very welcome power play chance. And Ilves also used this opportunity. By first blocking the goaltender´s view Ilves managed to create a spot for Ilves´ Anssi Salmela who succesfully finalized Ilves´ first goal. For Salmela himself this was a first one this season and actually the first goal in the League in ten years.

Only less than minute had passed when Ilves managed to tie the game. Thanks to the pre-work and great pass by Matias Maccelli, Joona Ikonen had an easy task to only direct the puck into an empty-net.

Still one more goal was recorded in the first period. Unfortunately, though, this went for Kärpät. Kärpät´s Tuukka Tieksola managed to successfully deke Ilves´ Niklas Peltomäki after which Ilves´ goalie Ville Kolppanen was left powerless when facing Tieksola. 3-2 for Kärpät when moving on to the second period.

In the second period Ilves got more and more back on its track while the game went on. Where the first period was predominantly dominated by the home team, the second period was an Ilves show. Kärpät goalie made 11 saves in total as Ilves managed to create several very dangerous attacks. However, no goals recorded during the second period.

Ilves went to the last round to chase a goal to even the game. The Tampereans dominated the game, but proper chances to score were scarcer than in the previous round. Especially Ilves’s power play first left a lot to be desired.

Tieksola, who had brought Kärpät to one goal in the previous round, was given a 2+10 penalty for dangerous boarding. This gave Ilves extra energy, and they finally made proper use of their sixth chance for power-play. The puck bounced to Eemeli Suomi in front of the goal. He managed to score an important goal to even the game in the 55th minute of the game.

Especially valuable was Ilves’s excellent gameplay. After the turn of the year, the team has had difficulties. It was a relief for the fans to see the team improve their game in the second and third rounds. Kärpät could not really measure to Ilves’s newly found energy. Ilves was energetically striving for a fourth goal before the end buzzer. Kärpät was in trouble with the team’s fast and long offence. Kalle Maalahti was close to scoring in the last minute, but his powerful shot went slightly over the goal. As neither of the teams scored the fourth goal, the game went overtime.

Kärpät got the first chance to score when Ludwig Byström got a surprise shot from the front of the Ilves goal. Kolppanen saved the situation, but just a moment later, the host team finally succeeded when Mustonen scored his second goal of the evening. Kärpät won the game 4-3.

Kärppä-triplan toinen näytös
Uhrautuvasti pelannut Ilves taisteli upean voiton Kärpistä