Ilves won Tappara for the fourth time in a row this season. Ilves’ offense was very effective and Eetu Mäkiniemi had a great game. Goalie made 26 saves and Anssi Salmela and Matias Maccelli each collected two points.
Great start by Ilves
Ilves has won all the previous local matches this season and started this one well as they took the control of the game quickly. Joose Antonen scored first goal of the evening from a breakaway at 2.59 after Matias Myttynen gave an accurate pass through Tappara’s defensemen. Antonen found himself all alone against Tappara’s goalie Christian Heljanko and forward calmly put the puck into the net with a smooth finish.
Ilves extended the lead just a minute later. Matias Maccelli and Roby Järventie had a 2v1 attack and Maccelli served a great saucer pass to Järventie. Järventie finished the quick counterattack easily and suddenly, at 4.25, Ilves already led the game 0-2.
After Ilves’ lightning-fast start, the game started to even up. Ilves took three minor penalties in the first period and this resulted one goal for Tappara. At 15.57, on powerplay, Tappara’s Lassi Vanhatalo deflected a shot from the blueline past Eetu Mäkiniemi.
The first period offered three goals and great hockey overall. Ilves had a slight edge over Tappara and it showed in shot totals: Heljanko stopped 11 shots and Mäkiniemi six.
Ilves stays effective
Ilves got another flying start to begin second period. Anssi Salmela found the loose puck in front of Tappara’s goal at 20.45 and the veteran defenseman made no mistakes. The goal was his second of the season and it was assisted by Teemu Väyrynen and Maccelli.
As the game was coming to its halfway point, Tappara had a couple long attacks on Ilves’ defensive zone. Ilves’ head coach Jouko Myrrä reacted to this and took a timeout in order to calm and re-focus the team. That did help quite a bit but after 40 minutes of hockey Tappara had controlled the puck more than Ilves. Same story was told through goalies’ saves: Mäkiniemi made nine saves in the second period and Heljanko only two. Mäkiniemi was a key factor when it comes to holding Tappara behind Ilves in the scoring board.
Ilves holds on
Third period did not have similar start like the previous ones. This was time when the clock did the work for Ilves as the team led game 1-3. This was not the most ‘typical’ game for Ilves because they did not have the control of the puck, but they still managed to be very effective on scoring chances.
Ilves took too many penalties, however. When Matias Myttynen was sitting a minor penalty for hooking, Mäkiniemi made a spectacular save as he robbed Vanhatalo from point blank range. Ilves’ penalty kill unit did the rest.
Ilves defended well the last couple minutes of the game and blocked most of the shots Tappara took. Joona Ikonen scored Ilves’ fourth goal of the evening to an empty net. Tampere is once again yellow and green as Ilves has already won most of the local matches.