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Ilves victorious in a must-win game against Stavanger Oilers

Mikko Alahäivälä

Ilves beat Stavanger Oilers 4–1 in the last home game of the CHL group stage and kept their plaoyff chances alive. Ilves’ goals were scored by Joonas Oden (2), Joona Ikonen ja Tommi Tikka.

Ilves dominate the first period

Ilves got an excellent start as Joonas Oden opened the scoring at 1.01. Matias Mäntykivi gave an excellent past to the back post and Oden put the puck to a wide open net leaving Henrik Holm no chances.

During the next minutes Ilves controlled the game but couldn’t create good scoring chances. At 5.43 Ilves got its first powerplay and doubled their lead to 2–0 on the second half of the penalty. Balazs Sebok’s pass through the penalty killing unit found Joona Ikonen whos wrister beat Holm on the glove side at 7.17. Defenseman Les Lancaster collected his second assist of the night.

Less than a minute later the game was 3–0 already. Defenseman Tuomas Salmela, who returned to Ilves line-up in the previous game, shot from the blueline and Tommi Tikka deflefted the puck in at 7.51. The second assist was given to Karri Aho who scored his first point for Ilves.

The first period was mainly one-sided. Stavanger had their first shot on goal just before halfway through the period. When Joona Ikonen got a penalty for tripping at 15.06 Marek Langhamer had only had two saves by that point.

Ilves defenseman Leo Lööf gave Ludvig Hoff a hard hit during Ikonen’s penalty, but there was no need for a second penalty. Colton Beck’s, who played for Ilves last season, shot over the top corner was Oiler’s best chance on the powerplay. Ilves led 3–0 after the first period.

Kuva: Timo Koistinen

Oilers narrow the lead

38-year-old birthday boy Petri Kontiola gave a good one-time pass to Aku Räty in the beginning of the second period but his wrister was saved by Henrik Holm. Jani Nyman also had a scoring chance from Balazs Sebok’s pass but the shot went wide and Joona Ikonen’s shot from close range was again denied by Holm.

Despite the good start by Ilves the next play at the other end of the rink narrowed the lead to 3–1.  Dan Kissel’s low shot found its way to the back of the net at 24.03. Marek Langhamer for blocked by an Oilers played but goal was allowed after a video check.

The home team got its second short-handed situation at 27.06 when Jani Nyman received a minor interference penalty for his center ice hit. A video check was made again in order to check the need for a bigger penalty but the referees saw no need for that. Oilers had some shots from the blueline on the powerplay, but Marek Langhamer handled the situations well.

The second period was much more even and the visiting team was also able to add pressure to the Ilves net. Good scoring chances were rare, however, and most of the chances were followed from shots from the blueline, deflections and rebound.

Two minutes before the buzzer Eetu Päkkilä’s stickhandling produced himself a chance to shoot but the the forward enough power on it and Henrik Holm saved. Right after the following face-off Holm made a great glove save on Les Lancaster shot.

The last scoring chance in the period came in a two-on-one attack. Les Lancaster received Petri Kontiola’s timely pass but the Norwegian goaltender denied him again. Dan Kissel’s goal was the only goal in the second and Ilves led 3–1 after two periods.

Kuva: Timo Koistinen

Oden settles the game

Ilves took control of the game again in the beginning of the third period and the Stavanger team was forced to battle in their defencive zone. Defenseman Tuomas Salmela sent the puck to the net four times in one shift but the numbers on the scoreboard didn’t change.

Eventually Ilves scored the 4–1 goal at 49.35. Joonas Oden cut the pass in the center ice, turned the game up ice and in the end was allowed to shoot the puck to a wide open net after his pass bounced back to his stick from a defenceman’s skate.

At the 15th minute Joona Ikonen got a breakaway but Henrik Holm made a pad save. Right before the buzzer Oilers forward Thomas Berg Paulsen got a great chance to score but his score went over the net.

Ilves won 4–1 and took the win and three points the team needed. The home team had 74 shots in the game (48 on goal) while the visiting team had 37 (21 on goal).

Attendance: 3843

Highlights and interviews

Next CHL game

The final and decisive group stage game takes place in Stavanger on Wednesday 12th of October.

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