Tappara has secured the victory in the regular season of the hockey SM league. Tappara beat Ilves 5–3 in a colorful top match.
Tappara is the winner of the regular season of the ice hockey SM league. Tappara defeated their local opponent Ilves 5–3 in the Tampere derby and secured their victory in the regular season even before the final matches on Saturday.
Tappara, who played their last match of the regular season, broke a four-point lead over Ilves. Ilves will play another home match against HPK, but will not be able to get past Tappara anymore. Tappara is number one in the regular season, Ilves is second and Lukko is third.
Ilves’ long wait is still not over. It has already been 35 years since Ilves’ last regular season win. Tappara won the regular season for the second season in a row.
– An even match and a lot of tension. This is a good starting point for the next games. We got such a decent men’s game here, Tappara’s star striker Jori Lehterä commented to Urheilu.
– Now we can play a little bit. Then when the matches continue, we will be ready. This is the best time for a hockey player, Lehterä said.
A bitter home loss for HIFK, Peltonen condemned Åsten’s actions
In the fight to get into the top six, Helsinki IFK suffered a bitter 0-2 home loss to Turku Palloseura. The loss was a hard blow to HIFK’s hopes of advancing to the top six and directly into the quarterfinals.
Kärpät and HIFK are both on 96 points, but the advantage is now with Kärpät. Kärpät will leave HIFK behind if the people of Oulu beat Mikkeli Jukurit on Saturday. HIFK travels to Jyväskylä as a guest of JYP in the final round. In a tie, Kärpät beats HIFK in the goal difference comparison.
– There were places to be made. You have to be stricter and show cunning, HIFK’s head coach Ville Peltonen apricot.
The hosts by Micke-Max Åsten hiking in the ice also spoke volumes. TPS Topias Haapanen received a two-minute tackle on the head, as the hit was in the upper chest, according to many views of the situation.
– I think (Åsten) was acting – we don’t accept that, HIFK’s Peltonen rumbled.
HIFK and Kärppie’s struggle for sixth place will have its final solution on Saturday.
– HIFK or Kärpät for pity players? This is a question that should never be asked if teams are looked at on paper, Urheilu’s expert Top Nättinen said in the Ice Hockey round.
HPK, KooKoo or Jukurit?
The struggle between HPK, KooKoo and Jukurei for the last playoff spot will culminate in Saturday’s final matches. HPK is barely in 10th place and in the last place for the 1st round of the playoffs. But the battle is not over yet, because KooKoo is one point away and Jukurit is two points away from HPK.
In Friday’s round, HPK pushed for a 4–2 victory over JYP and KooKoo took a 4–3 overtime victory over SaiPa. Jukurit was on flute shift on Friday.
In the final round on Saturday, HPK will therefore challenge Ilves, KooKoo will seek an away win against TPS, and Jukurit will therefore play against Kärppi in Oulu.
If the teams are tied after the 60-game regular season, the number of three-point wins will be considered first. If they are even, superiority is decided by goal difference.
Pelicans and KalPa meet in the quarterfinals
It was already confirmed that Pelicans and KalPa will meet in the quarterfinals. The Pelicans are now fourth and KalPa fifth, but the Pelicans’ lead over KalPa is only one point. Thus, the fourth place and the home advantage of the match pair will only be decided on Saturday. Pelicans visit Lappeenranta and KalPa take on Luko at home.
The first round of the playoffs starts already on Monday. One of the match pairs in the first round has already been confirmed, as TPS and Ässät are fighting for a place in the quarterfinals.
The top six in the regular season go directly to the quarterfinals starting in a week. The league announces that Tappara, who won the regular season, will start the quarterfinals in their home hall on March 17. Ilves will play its opening playoff games on March 18.
FRIDAY’S LEAGUE ROUND
KooKoo–SaiPa 4–3 and