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Ilves got one point from Turku, lost ground in the standings

Kalle Karlsson

TPS won on penalties as Juuso Pärssinen was the only one who managed to score after 65 minutes. Ilves is currently tied in points with KooKoo but fifth in the standings because of goal difference.

First period offered no goals

As the statistics show, the first period was tight. Lukas Dostal marked eight saves and TPS’s goalie Erik Källgren nine. The best chance of the period was Arttu Ruotsalainen’s breakaway opportunity but Källgren was able to stretch one of his pads in front of the puck. Ilves also had a powerplay chance but the powerplay unit didn’t capitalize. TPS had a couple more or less dangerous opportunities but Dostal stood tall.

Overall, Ilves had a slightly better control of the game. They had longer offensive shifts in TPS’s end and had the edge on puck control. Both teams played cautious game.

Ilves opened the scoring but the same trend continued

The second period was pretty much a reflection of first period. The only difference was that Ilves scored the first goal of the game just a few minutes before the intermission. Before the goal Ville Meskanen had a great opportunity as Henrik Larsson lost the puck right in front of TPS’s net. Meskanen’s sharp wrister hit the post.

Eemeli Suomi scored his 24th goal of the season after Teemu Rautiainen delivered puck to the net. The play was reviewed from the video but referee’s decision remained the same. It was an important goal: you got to feel some sort of a relief going into third period with a one goal lead. Dostal kept playing solid goaltending.

TPS won in penalty shootout after thrilling overtime

TPS recovered from the second period’s late goal and they managed to score on a powerplay. Eemeli Suomi got a somewhat controversial penalty and Markus Nurmi tied the game at 51:53. Nurmi’s hard one-timer was too much for Dostal. After the power break, it seemed that Ilves found more energy and they grabbed the momentum back with good skating.

Ilves got a decent opportunity to solve the game at regulation. At 58:40 Zach Budish took a minor for slashing. Despite the pressure, Ilves couldn’t get the puck into TPS’s net and overtime was needed to determine the winner.

It had to be one of the most exciting overtimes of this season. Ilves lost their powerplay opportunity after 10 seconds as Suomi got a minor for tripping. Both teams had plenty of chances to end the game but the goalies stopped every attempt. First, Juuso Pärssinen had a breakaway but Dostal was able to deny him and immediately took another big save by flashing the leather. When TPS got to the man advantage, Arttu Ruotsalainen took the puck and was skating towards breakaway but he was tripped. The referee gave Ruotsalainen a penalty shot but Källgren made a big save. Even after this episode each team had a breakaway but neither scored. One could say that both goalies shined through overtime.

At first, it looked that goalies would be perfect in penalty shootout as they were in overtime. However, Pärssinen found a way to get the puck past Dostal and TPS got the extra point. A point that would have been vital for Ilves.

Next up, Ilves heads to Lahti where they face Pelicans on Friday. This week’s third and final game is at Hakametsä against HIFK on Saturday.

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