Tonight, Ilves faced off with Kärpät from Oulu, a team that has recently found their groove. Kärpät started the game well, but Ilves clawed their way back into the game and into the shootout after trailing 0–3. In the end, Kärpät was stronger in the shootout, winning the game 3–4.
Kärpät had a strong start as Otto Karvinen scored at 1:27. Ilves’ scoring chances were few and far between in the first period, and Kärpät controlled the game. The score was 0–2 before even ten minutes were played: Aleksi Mustonen hit the bouncing puck in the air and into Eetu Mäkiniemi’s net.
An unfortunate play by Anssi Salmela led to a stolen puck and a breakaway by Kärpät’s Juha-Matti Aaltonen. When Salmela tried to trip Aaltonen from behind, Kärpät were awarded a penalty shot, and Aaltonen scored.
But soon after Eetu Päkkilä scored quite pretty a goal on the powerplay! The 1–3 goal was assisted by Maccelli and Mieho. Ilves made their own lives difficult by taking penalties in the last minutes, but fortunately Kärpät could not score any more.
Kärpät in the driver’s seat
Ilves’ penalty carried over to the second period, but they were able to kill it. After that, Ilves had no room to breathe as Kärpät kept circling and shooting at the Ilves net.
Finally, Ilves created a formidable attack: Joona Ikonen passed through the defenders to Matias Maccelli who scored at 36:23! Still, Kärpät in the lead, 2–3.
Then Kärpät took a penalty, and things seemed brighter for Ilves. They played well on the powerplay, but there were no additional goals.
So close, yet so far
Ville Meskanen was extremely close to tying the score early in the period, but Kärpät goalie Patrik Rybár made the necessary save. Ilves pressed on tirelessly, but the best of chances seemed to evade them.
But when 1:29 was left in the game, Matias Myttynen scored from Maccelli and Ikonen’s assists, 3–3. The goal was Myttynen’s 100th point in his Liiga career, as well. Kärpät and the re-energized Ilves headed to overtime.
The overtime was very even, although Maccelli had the best scoring chances during the final seconds. However, no goals for anyone. In the shootout, Kärpät scored in all of their three tries and so they won the game with the final score of 3–4.
Ilves received one point, but their losing streak unfortunately continued.