On Thursday night Ilves wowed with a dream start in their first playoff game against KooKoo. Despite a strong opponent, the team managed to bring home a 1-4 victory with ease.
Ilves takes the lead from the start
Already in the first minute of this game, Ilves directly started two attacks, which were just barely blocked by the opposing goalkeeper. Time and again the puck landed in front of KooKoo’s goal and even counterattacks were held with ease by Eetu Mäkiniemi.
After half of the opening round had passed without a goal, Joona Ikonen took a chance and managed to shoot the puck smoothly into the bottom corner of the net at 13:21. As the first round was already coming to an end, Kalle Maalahti surprised the opponents by maneuvering through their defense to score a second goal for Ilves.
Ilves maintains the lead
Spurred on by their 0-2 lead, Ilves started the second round at full throttle. The next goal was not long in coming: In 21:48, Eetu Päkkilä aimed the puck over the goalie’s shoulder into the net, securing Ilves the 0-3 lead.
Shortly after, Ilves got a chance to attack 5-on-4, but KooKoo’s remaining players formed a too strong defense. The opponents finally hit back while Ilves was outnumbered. Mäkiniemi had no chance to hold the blow of KooKoo’s Vilmos Gallo and prevent a 1-3.
As the game went on, good chances kept arising for both teams, but the second round ended with the 1-3 score.
No chance for the opponents
KooKoo had a strong start in the final period, but Ilves proved their superiority once again. In 42:42, Eemeli Suomi sprinted alone towards the barely guarded goal and tunnelled the puck between the goalie’s legs. Thus, Ilves was now ahead with a score of 1-4 and the victory seemed out of reach for the home team.
Although KooKoo did not leave the victory without a fight, in the end they could not score another goal. Mäkiniemi fended off a total of 36 attacks and Ilves were able to carry the 1-4 victory to Tampere that night.