Julia Schmieder

Ilves met KalPa on Saturday night in Hakametsä and took control already in the first minutes of the game. Two goals in the first period proved that the opponents from Kuopio had better prepare for a tough game. After a scoreless second period, KalPa started to fight back, but could not catch Ilves, who celebrated a final score of 3-2.

Ilves starts with full energy

The game started off pacy, with KalPa having two good chances for a goal, but Eetu Mäkiniemi did not let the puck through. Ilves quickly settled into the game and assumed control of the game. Just five minutes into the game, Ville Meskanen seized the chance while KalPa’s team was outnumbered, and struck the puck into the goal. And so Ilves took the lead in 05:29.

The match continued with several passes and attacks, but only towards the end of the first period, there was another reason for Ilves fans to cheer. In 16:14 Jarkko Parikka converted a pass into a 2-0 for Ilves; a score that remained until the first break.

The tempers heat up

During the second period, both KalPa and Ilves had good chances while the other team was outnumbered, but on both sides the defense withstood all attacks. Again and again, there was friction between the players, which often had to be mediated by the referees. Instead of another goal, spectators had to witness a violent foul on Santeri Hatakka that ended the second period.

KalPa fights back, but Ilves does not give in

As a consequence of the foul, Ilves was allowed to play 5-on-4 for a full five minutes at the start of the final period. Unfortunately, they could not exploit this advantage as KalPa’s defense kept tight and repelled every attack. In 48:58, KalPa’s Juuso Könönen counter-attacked and scored the first goal for the opponents. The team drew new energy from this, but Ilves remained firm and did not allow an equalizer.

In the last minutes of the game, Ilves was unstoppable. The home team controlled territory and possession and had KalPa pinned in their half. Finally, Eemeli Suomi struck a clean shot and scored a 3-1 in 51:53. Right after the face-off, KalPa’s Lasse Lappalainen sent a shot from the middle line which went right past Mäkiniemi, changing the score to a 3-2.

After that, both teams were heated up and wanted to score another goal at any cost. Finally, KalPa replaced its goalkeeper with a player and for one short moment Ilves had a chance to hit the empty goal, but the opponents were not ready to give up. Mäkiniemi made a great save in the last seconds before the final whistle was blown and so this exciting game ended with a 3-2 victory for Ilves.

Ilves kiepautti KalPan kumoon Hakametsässä
Pregame-livestudio: Ilves-TPS tiistaina 9.2.