Ilves showed Porin Äss the place of the locker in Tampere, KalPa once again washed their face in front of their home crowd by beating Lahti Pelicans. In the third quarter-final game of the day, HIFK went on a raid in Rauma.
Ilves showed Pori Äss a place in the locker at the opening of the hockey league quarterfinals in Tampere. Captain of the Tampere team Eemeli Finland scored two goals and led Ilves to a 5–1 victory. The last time Finland had managed to score was exactly a month ago, and the end of the dry season was visible in the man’s ventilation.
– Sometimes those goals come more often, then sometimes it’s more difficult. It was nice to do. We were on a good footing, and I think we can still raise our level. Let’s put even more gas on, and let’s see what happens, Suomi stated in an interview with Jääkiekkokierros.
Ilves had lost their previous two matches against Ässi in the regular season without scoring a goal, but now there was another sound on the clock.
Ilves started scoring already after three minutes of play, when Aku Räty finished Petri Kontiolan and Jyrki Jokipakana after some nice passes from the back corner of the goal, 1–0. Dominik Masin hit 2–0 after a nicely staggered attack. At the beginning of the second period, Ilves’ captain Suomi scored a goal from the front for Ilves 3–0, and it already had the taste of a solution. At the beginning of the final set Santeri Virtanen scored Ilves’ fourth goal and immediately after Finland’s second goal of the night.
– We weren’t selfish, we played for each other. Aces are a bunch of badasses. It’s not easy to get to their goal, said Räty, who scored the opening goal.
The opening of Ilves’ quarterfinals was once again witnessed by a handsome audience, 11,307 spectators.
The teams’ next clash is in Pori on Monday. You can reach the semi-finals with four wins.
“It wasn’t hard to light up”
KalPa evened the quarter-final series against Pelicans with a home win with a score of 3–0. The match series is now tied at 1–1, and it will continue on Monday in Lahti. The match was watched by a large audience in Niirala’s stadium: 5,023 spectators.
The captain became the heroes of the Kuopio people Tuomas Kiiskinen with two hits and a shutout Juha Jatkola. The young goalkeeper stretched in front of the puck a total of 13 times.
Kiiskinen admitted that the team was not in the best possible shape until Friday, so it was easier to get ready for revenge.
– Full of Niirala’s monttu, it wasn’t hard to get the guys fired up. That attitude was not lacking yesterday either. I think we had more drive and because of that we didn’t get everything out. We played the first game out from under, so today we got to start with a clean slate, Kiiskinen said on the Ice Hockey Tour.
In a physical and fast-paced struggle, no less than 21 ice-colds were whistled. However, bigger penalties were avoided, even though the emotions in the rink got heated on several occasions.
– We still had a lot to learn. It doesn’t take that many freezes in every game, at some point it will definitely swing. Today it lasted and even the underpower worked fine, Kiiskinen stated.
Also the head coach of the home team Tommi Miettinen highlighted the team’s goalkeeper play and the captain’s example after the match.
– Excellent understrength, goalkeeper play and two really important goals from Tuomas Kiiskinen. This is good to continue, Miettinen summed up at the press conference.
HIFK went on a robbery spree in Rauma
Helsinki IFK started the quarterfinals with a valuable 4–1 away win over Luko from Rauma. Striker Roni Hirvonen scored two goals for HIFK, who were the last to reach the quarterfinals.
– Fortunately, we were efficient and we defended really hard. Those were the keys to victory today, Hirvonen said in an interview with Jääkiekkokierros.
– Yes, we wanted to be more on the offensive end, but this was enough in this first game. It may not be enough in the next one.
HIFK scored two important goals in the second period, but after that played quite defensively. However, according to Hirvonen, it was not the team’s intention, but because Lukko pushed harder and harder at IFK’s defensive end.
Lukko captain Anrei Hakulinen regretted that the home team didn’t get the start they wanted and IFK was able to steal the home advantage for themselves.
– Yes, IFK stole the win. In that second period, there were two own-end starts, and I don’t know what happened in that, but the guy scored a little cheap goals, Hakulinen said and wanted a better puck game for his own team’s game.
– A little cunning in the attacking game and aggrea in the goal area. We splashed a little too much. You just have to try to play from stage to shoulder when there’s a place. Yes, we will still translate this series.
Update at 21:50: Added a song about the Lukko-HIFK match.