Siru Takala

Tonight was the third Tampere derby of the season. These two teams have gone down different paths this season: Ilves has struggled after a stellar start, and Tappara has corrected their course after having trouble in the fall.

Ilves started energetically and created several chances in the Tappara zone, but the opponent defended well. Joni Ikonen got a shot off right in front of goalie Christian Heljanko, but Heljanko saved it.

Both teams tested each other on the powerplay, but neither could score even though the powerplay units worked tirelessly. The Tampere teams are both doing well when it comes to special teams: Tappara has the second best penalty kill in the league, and Ilves’ powerplay is second best, as well.

No goals in the first period, but the intensity of the game looked promising going into the second.

Goal scoring begins

The second period delivered the goals and the intense gameplay. Tappara had a strong start, and Ilves looked shaky until Matias Maccelli decided to attack by himself. He dangled through three players and sniped one to the back of the Tappara net. Ilves in the lead, 1–0, at 22:47.

Ilves played even better after the goal, but soon Tappara got on the powerplay and punished Ilves immediately with a quick goal. However, Ilves did not get discouraged, and the first line struck right after: Meskanen and Suomi passed, Lepaus finished, and the game was 2–1.

Lepaus scored again three and half minutes before the end when Suomi passed to him in front of Heljanko. Lepaus was left unattended and surprised everyone with a nifty goal. Ilves was up by two goals even though the period was very even with plenty of chances for both teams.

Ilves defends until the end

Although Tappara had some dangerous chances on the powerplay, Ilves worked well to protect their lead in the third. Antti Saarela tried to extend the lead during the Tappara powerplay, but his sneaky shot missed the net.

Ilves succeeded especially in intercepting passes and that way creating scoring chances in the other end. Time was starting to run out for Tappara who tried constantly for a goal and even pulled their goalie five minutes before the final whistle.

Tappara had to admit their defeat when Saarela scored in the empty net at 58:16. And so Ilves continued their good streak against their eternal rival and took home the points with a 4–1 victory.

Tampereen valtikka pysyy Ilveksellä – Tappara kaatui jälleen
Jatkuvuutta hakemassa Jyväskylässä