After last week’s defeats, Ilves had to come back – and come back they did. On Wednesday evening Ilves met Jukurit and defeated them with a clear 3-2 victory, whereby two goals were scored by Roby Järventie.
A draw in the first round
Ilves gained possession of the puck right at the start of the game and immediately launched an attack on the opponent’s goal, but it was blocked. Gradually the game gained momentum and Ilves had several good chances, but Jukurit had woken up by now and maneuvered the puck dangerously close to Ilves’ goal.
After a violation, the opposing team had to play shorthanded and lost another player during the penalty time, which gave Ilves a considerable advantage. But even against only three opponents, Ilves could not fight through. After a series of aggressive attacks by Ilves, Jukurit finally won the puck back and Samuli Piipponen landed the first goal for the opposing team at 14:44.
Ilves, however, was not ready to let the others take the lead and responded by striking back. Finally, just before the first period was over, Eemeli Suomi managed to shoot the puck through the defense and tie the game 1-1 in 19:06.
Ilves takes the lead
Back on the ice, Jukurit quickly took control of the puck, but Ville Koppanen confidently held all attacks. Also in the further course Jukurit showed themselves more attacking than before and demanded that Koppanen had to show full commitment. When the opponents had to play shorthanded again, Ilves used the situation to take the lead and Roby Järventie managed to score the desired 2-1 in 30:10.
Shortly after, Antti Saarela delivered a moment that made us all hold our breath briefly. Out of the penalty box he swept towards Jukurit’s goal, which was only guarded by the goalie, but his attempt was unsuccessful when the shot got blocked. Again both teams built up high pressure in the last minutes, but despite that it came to a few tense situations in front of both goals, no further goal was scored in this period and Ilves went into the break leading 2-1.
Järventie strikes again
The last period started with Ilves outnumbered, but this did not mean that the opponents had an easy game. The home team stood firm until the players were back to full strength and set out on new attacks. They confidently steered the game from their half of the ice to the opponents’ side. Eventually, Roby Järventie managed to slalom the puck through the opponents and score the third goal for Ilves in 48:41.
A few minutes later, Jukurit’s Brandon Yip broke through the defense and managed to change the score to 3-2 in 54:49. Yet, another equalizer would not come that night. In the final minute of the match, Jukurit pulled their goalie and had a couple of chances to put the puck in Ilves’ goal. However, the home team kept their concentration until the end and defended their lead. Thus, this evening ended with a 3-2 victory for Ilves, who earned valuable points that moved them up to fourth place in the league standings.