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Strong battle against Fribourg-Gottéron but no points for Ilves

Ilves played well in the first CHL game in the club history, but home team Fribourg-Gottéron managed to take a 3–2 win. The two goals by Ilves were scored in the second period by Tommi Tikka.

The home team starts strong

Fribourg-Gottéron had a good chance to score right in the beginning of the game, but the shot hit the post. The home team was given a powerplay 56 seconds into the game when Henrik Haapala was sent to the penalty box for slashing. This time the home team’s closest shot hit the side netting.

More penalties were given at 1.27. Ilves forward Tommi Tikka was handed a 2+2 minute penalty and Jyrki Jokipakka and Fribourg-Gottéron’s Julien Sprunger and Matthias Rossi a minor penalty. Ilves was now shorthanded by two men and the Fribourg team opened the scoring at 3.16 when Finnish forward Janne Kuokkanen’s shot from a rebound found the net from close range.

Ilves defenseman Les Lancaster put Reto Berra into work after five minutes of play, but the Swiss national team goaltender made a glove save. The Tampere team’s momentum gave them a powerplay when Andrei Bykov took a tripping penalty. The away team couldn’t find a way to open the scoring, however.

In the 12th minute Balazs Sebok received a good pass and Berra barely made the save. Jyrki Jokipakka’s shot from the blueline and Tommi Tikka’s chance in front of the net weren’t far from tying the game either. The home team reminded of it’s quality right after Ilves’ chances, but Marek Langhamer made a great save.

Ilves was given a second powerplay at 13.50, but failed to score despite its decent chances. The visiting team’s game improved after a difficult start to the game, but Fribourg-Gottéron kept the 1–0 lead after the first period.

Ilves opens the scoring in the CHL

The start of the second period saw Eemeli Suomi going close to scoring from Joonas Oden’s pass, but goaltender Reto Berra made a save. Just a moment later Ilves had an almost identical attempt and this time Tommi Tikka found the net from the back post from Oden’s great pass. The first ever CHL goal for Ilves tied the game 1–1 at 20.48. Secondary assists was given to defenseman Les Lancaster.

The home team almost took the lead back right after Tikka’s goal when forward Nathan Marchon’s shot from the right side the side netting.

The Tampere team had its third chance on the powerplay at 25.58 as Matthias Rossi was given a penalty for slashing. Sloppy play at the blueline backfired however when Fribourg got a two-on-one attack and Janne Kuokkanen’s shot beat Langhamer. Finnish forward’s second goal of the night gave the home team a 2–1 lead at 27.01.

Instead of startling Ilves tied the game at 2–2 just moments later. This time it was Tommi Tikka’s turn to score his second goal of the game. Assists were given to Petri Kontiola and Matias Mäntykivi.

Halfway through the period Julien Sprunger, the captain and all-time leading scorer of the Swiss team, went close to scoring but Marek Langhamer was able to make a save and keep the puck in his possession. At 33.52 defenseman Leo Lööf took a penalty for cross-checking. Ilves played well shorthanded and killed the penalty without much trouble.

Ilves had a strong couple of minutes and many chances to score at the end of second period, but Fribourg-Gottéron survived as the away team’s shots couldn’t find the back of the net.

Fifth goal proves to be the winner

An even game continued on the same track in the third period. During the first five minutes the best scoring chance opened up for Fribourg-Gottéron after Ilves made a mistake on-the-fly and the home team got a breakaway, but the Czech goaltender Marek Langhamer denied the away team forward.

The fifth goal of the game was finally scored by Fribourg-Gottéron forward Mattias Rossi, who redirected a shot from the blueline and gave the home team a 3–2 lead at 50.47.

In the 53rd minute Eetu Päkkilä received a pass between the hash marks, but the forward’s shot hit the glass. The shot from the blueline that followed right after wasn’t enough to beat goaltender Reto Berra either. Five and half minutes before the end of the period Berra made a great save as Tommi Tikka crashed the net and tried to finish his hat-trick.

Ilves kept on building pressure and finally took an extra skater on the ice, but couldn’t score a third and tying goal. Fribourg-Gottéron won the game 3–2 and kept the three points at home.

Attendance: 5014

Next game

The CHL journey will continue in Austria where Ilves faces Red Bull Salzburg on Saturday 3rd of September. The game will start at 9.20 pm Finnish time.

Ilves taisteli vahvasti mutta taipui Fribourg-Gottéronille
Tule mukaan Ilveksen ensimmäisiin CHL-kotiotteluihin ja ole osa historiaa!