The series of matches between HIFK and Luko came to life. On Saturday, a wild game is ahead in Rauma.
MATTI RAIVIO / AOP
- The fifth game between Luko and HIFK is on Saturday in Rauma.
- The lock is alive, but in a tight slot.
Rauman Lukko narrowed the wins to 1–3 against HIFK in the quarterfinals of the hockey SM league in the last possible place. Lukko beat the Stadion team in the fourth match in the first overtime with numbers 2–1.
The match series is now 3–1 for HIFK.
The solution came in the overtime in 70:24, when Lukon Julius Mattila put the puck in the backpack from Josh Kestner’s pass and the sold-out Nordis fell silent.
– There was a good opening win and Tarmo Reunanen played a good blunt zip in the middle area and came in second place. I shouted to Kestner that there are two. He made an excellent pass and I got a quick shot that didn’t Roope Taponen had time to move to the post, Luko’s hero yanna.
Mattila has had some places in the match series. Was the big goal a relief?
– The biggest relief is that we got a win. I haven’t been worried about the fact that I haven’t scored goals, except for the fact that I haven’t been able to help the team, said Ilves, who played the NCAA college series at Boston College for a full four years (2016–2020).
Faith does not end
Despite the victory, the chances of the Romanians to turn the series around are slim in the light of the statistics. In the history of the league, there has only been one time to win the series from 0–3.
Espoo Blues did a miracle in the spring of 2012, when they came from behind KalPa in the quarter-finals with a 4–3 victory.
– We finally got a reward for hard work. We have tried to look behind the result and believe in our own doing. At our best, we have played excellent hockey in the series, but luck has given us quite a bit of willow, said Mattila.
ELMERI ELO / AOP
Soul and heart
Despite the difficult situation, also the coach of the Romanian team Marko Virtanen believes in a long series of matches.
– There’s a tough spirit in that booth. The soul and heart are involved. It’s either enough or not enough. It would feel wrong if this series had gone 4-0.
Before Friday’s game, Lukko had played 77 minutes and 28 seconds of superiority, resulting in one scored goal. There was no dominant hit on Friday either, so it is not difficult to find one problem point in Luko’s game.
– Ylivoima is waiting for its success there, the head coach assured.
Lukko now won his first game in March. The victory came in the eighth game, so the team’s game has been in pretty deep ice.
MATTI RAIVIO / AOP
HIFK’s goal was scored in the opening set Jesse Seppälä drive through. In the situation Lock guard Artem Zagidul already kicked the puck into his own goal for the third time in this match series.
The Russian goalkeeper has not been at his best in March.
In the second round Gabriel Fontaine tied the game,.
– That’s how it’s been at Nordis, few goals. Now I went to Luko. This is what a playoff mess is like, thought the one playing a good season Kristian Vesalainen.
The native of Helsinki scored 37 points in 40 games in the regular season. There have been 2+2 more points in the playoffs.
Brief Huili and bus journey
The teams will meet again on Saturday. The game starts already at 5 p.m., which means less than 20 hours of recovery time, and that includes a three-hour bus ride to Rauma.
– It’s a short time, but there’s nothing special about it. That’s why we trained in the summer. All focus is now on Saturday’s game. I don’t believe in big changes, it will probably be a low-scoring game again, the 23-year-old Vesalainen said.
The one who raised HIFK from the sadness of the end of the year to a good mood Ville Peltonen also considered the short preparation time.
– Yes, it is a factor after every game. The big thing is that we get Friday’s game out of the way quickly, and we get to recharge for Saturday.
“Not being ready”
– Our work continues on Saturday, we are definitely not ready. We get the support of the home crowd. We’ve played really good first sets, hopefully tomorrow we’ll get that goal in the first set and with that the energy, the hero of the night Mattila predicted.