Koovola’s KooKoo and Pori’s Ässät have reached the quarterfinals of the hockey SM league. Kärpät and Turku Palloseura lost the decisive matches of the 1st playoff round on Thursday.
16.3. 20:56•Updated 16.3. 21:24
On Thursday, KooKoo, who reached the playoffs of the SM league in the last four hockey seasons, advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Kärpät 5–0 in a show-stopping game. Playoff wins for KooKoo in the series 2–1.
– KooKoo improved his playing in the series all the time and the underdog position suited the team perfectly. In addition, KooKoo was united, trusted himself and his own style of play and took advantage of the Kärppi’s weaknesses in the match series, ‘s hockey expert listed Top Nättinen KooKoo’s solution factors.
Instead, the tame, lifeless look of the Kärppie aroused wonder in Raksila already in the first set.
– It doesn’t look like this is the most important game of the season for Kärpi. The team is missing some edge. The disaster has clearly taken over the team, the coaching, the fans and the whole city, notes Nättinen.
The defenders of the people of Kymenlaakso Charle-Edouard D’Astous and Juho Rautanen managed to score in the opening set while supporting the attacks. In addition, KooKoo was rejected in the set Samuel Valkeejärvi hit as a kick goal.
– Two direct attacks from KooKoo in the first set and two goals from them. KooKoo didn’t even perform anything amazing. In the visitors’ 2–0 goal, Kärppie’s four-million shot was countered by one pass! This shouldn’t be possible at this stage of the season, Nättinen spun his head.
Olli Salon coached by KooKoo cemented his place in the quarterfinals in the second set. Surrendered to their fate, the backbone of the Flies figuratively broke Miska Siikonen underpowered, by Axel Ottoson goal and D’Astous’ second full hit of the night. Stopped pucks with a save percentage of 50 Joel Blomqvist was allowed to make room after four setbacks For Niclas Westerholm.
KooKoo has a “superhuman” match program
For KooKoo, the match schedule is merciless, because the team has to go to Tampere tomorrow, where they will face the regular season winner Tappara, who has been playing for a week, in the opening of the quarterfinals. KooKoo has now played six games in eight days, and if we include Friday’s match, it will play seven games in ten days!
– It’s been going with a heavy load. Now we’re going at a superhuman pace, as tomorrow we’re already traveling to Tampere. Some buttons have to be pressed here to make our robots work, KooKoo coach Salo stated.
– You have to earn a place in 60 matches in the regular season. If you’re ranked 7-10, then you just play more and more often, KooKoon Teemu Rautiainen acknowledged his crew’s fierce match schedule.
The last time Kärpät was out of the quarterfinals was in the 2016-17 season, when it lost 0-2 to HIFK in the “pity playoffs” in the eighth place of the regular season.
Lauri Marjamäki admitted that he experienced one of the biggest disappointments of his coaching career.
– The visions of the season fell far short of the actions. I take full responsibility for that. It is a place for a bigger analysis why we were not able to perform anywhere near our best in the last five regular season games and in these playoff games.
– Joy is far away. I’m really disappointed, admitted Marjamäki at the media conference.
In Pori Derek Barach and Jesse Joensuu lifted the Ässäs to a 2–1 victory over Turku Palloseura with their goals in the last eight minutes of the final set and at the same time to the quarterfinals with a 2–1 victory. Aces will meet llves in the quarterfinals. The opening game will be played on Saturday in Tampere.
Tappara – KooKoo
Pelicans – KalPa
Lynx – Aces
Lock – HIFK