HIFK forged the crushing readings in the first final – Kiekko-Espoo’s head coach muttered to himself: “Disrespecting the finals”

HIFK forged the crushing readings in the first final

HIFK’s offensive power has been overwhelming this season, and it was also in the first ice hockey women’s league final against Kiekko-Espoo.

Anu Karttunen,

Ilmari Pitkänen

The winner of the regular season and early favorite HIFK beat Kiekko-Espoo at home by no less than 9–2 (2–1, 3–0, 4–1) in the first final game of the Women’s Ice Hockey League and took the first shot at the championship. Three wins are needed for that. The match series continues on Sunday in Espoo.

IFK’s first chain power forward Julia Liikala finished two goals and assisted two, the same power was also produced by the center forward of the second chain Sanni Vanhanen. Second base forward Emilia Vesa finished with two goals and provided one assist. The winner of the regular season points exchange Michaela Pejzlova recorded for himself powers 1+3. They were responsible for Espoo’s goals Julia Zielinska and Tinja-Mariia Haukijärvi.

– Today I wasn’t at my best, I promise to improve, Liikala assured in an interview with Urheilu.

– I usually look for the serve more, but we talked with Pejzlova that today we have to shoot. I thought at the beginning of the game to try it, and it paid off.

At the beginning of the first and second periods, Kiekko-Espoo was able to keep the puck and cause difficulties for HIFK, but the team’s good grip disappeared with the penalties of the second period at the latest. IFK managed to score three goals in the set, two of which came right after the superiority ended.

Kiekko-Espoo’s head coach Sami Haapanen regretted that his team didn’t manage to take advantage of the situations at the beginning of the second period and then took some stupid timeouts.

– We can’t beat IFK from the ice bench, he said and exorcises his team’s lack of spirit.

– I myself was clearly not up to date, and neither was the team. This is a disservice to the finals to play with this attitude. Yes, we need to find a face.

IFK head coach Saara Niemen in my opinion, the match was not easy for the home team, although it gave a strong example of the attacking power of the people of Helsinki.

– We can be satisfied, but we didn’t quite hit all cylinders, Niemi stated.

According to Niemi, IFK’s passing game was still not the best, and he would have liked a slightly duller puck on his own.

– Yes, we must be able to improve first of all attacking together and basic things, win more duels.

On Sunday, the second match will be played in a significantly smaller rink than the one played on Saturday. Niemi expects this to make the fighting game even tougher. Kiekko-Espoo tries to play in a straight line, and on Saturday IFK was able to defend the Espoo team from scoring situations in the big rink. On Sunday, Niemi himself needs to play hard defense.

– We have played really well this season also in a small rink. We know that there you just have to be able to play faster and more through the wings. We have to be more ready than today, because Espoo is much more ready in its home cave, Niemi reminded.

Haapanen admitted that he and the rest of the coaching staff have a long night ahead as they try to find ways to turn the game into tomorrow.

– This was such a mess and washing that it had to be washed quite carefully. A good 20 hours and tomorrow again. Let’s learn from things, try to put together the pieces we can find, and maybe a rabbit out of a hat.

The first victory was not celebrated in the IFK camp yet. According to Niemi, a few slaps were thrown in the booth, but the focus had already shifted to the next match.

– The fact is that you have to win three matches. It doesn’t matter if you win 1–0 or 10–0. There is always a new game and you have to be awake, you can’t afford to stay partying, Liikala reminded.

HIFK – K-Espoo 9–2 (2–1, 3–0, 4–1)

12.57 1–0 Liikala (Yrjölä, Pejzlova) yv
14.02 2–0 Liikala (Pejzlova) av
19.08 2–1 Zielinska (Montonen, Kata) yv
31.01 3–1 Vanhanen (Rozier, Locatelli)
32.10 4–1 Vesa (Vanhanen)
37.18 5–1 Vesa (Vanhanen, Korhonen)
45.53 6–1 Rozier (Vesa)
50.28 7–1 Pejzlova (Liikala)
53.28 8–1 Rantamäki (Pejzlova, Yrjölä)
54.10 8–2 Haukijärvi (Täks, Aro)
55.07 9–2 Vanhanen (Liikala, Rantamäki)

Goalkeepers HIFK, Lahtinen 4+7+3=14
K-Espoo, Pajarinen 2+7+0=9
K-Espoo, Drufva 0+0+10=10