To the surprise of many, the Pelicans play in the semi-finals of the League.
TOMI NATRI / AOP
- Pelicans will play against Ilves in the semi-finals.
- KalPa and Pelicans only won in their home halls.
It was a classic puck game, the seventh game of a playoff series, in English Game 7. KalPa and Pelicans had played an even match series, but the deciding game was a celebration for the home team.
Pelicans defeated Savoia 4–2, and won the match series 4–3.
– The home team has been slightly better throughout the series. For once we started the match better, scored goals and got energy from the crowd. All in all, another even home game from us, Lars Bryggman, who scored two goals, enjoyed it.
The 30-year-old and 193-centimeter Umeå native looks more like a defender than a forward on the ice. The man’s game number is also 2, more typical of a defender.
All the same, the winger scored two goals in KalPa’s net in a tough spot.
– The first one was lucky. I noticed that the goalkeeper was in a bit of a bad position and I actually kind of tried to score through him. I got a good bounce on it.
– In the second goal, I couldn’t pass properly, and then everything went well. I’m satisfied.
Only home wins were seen in the match series.
The second time
TOMI NATRI / AOP
The Lahti ice hockey team is playing in the League’s semi-finals for only the second time in its history.
– This has been a good performance from the team and the entire organization in the regular season and the playoffs so far. We have been particularly good at home and that decided this series.
– We go one game at a time and of course we try to win every game, Bryggman, who has almost 300 matches in the SHL, continued.
– We played the best game of the series today. We dared to play and were ahead of the guy. There was no stopping today. Yes, we have always tried to rely on our own strengths, and today we were persistent, said the attacker Miika Roine.
In the ranks of the Kuopio players, when the playoffs started, they boldly talked about the championship. KalPa did play a good series, but the stoppage game was weak and the golden train of the Savo people sped to Lahti station.
– Yes, for some reason the download went over. There was such forcing almost the whole game. In the second set, we caught up a little for a while, and there were places to join. We couldn’t use them, said KalPa’s head coach Tommi Miettinen.
– This was our weakest game in this series and the weakest first set in a long, long time. We’ve been good at starting games, but for some reason now we failed. I can’t say what was in it, things from the spirit world. On the other hand, if the best of seven in the series does not win any away games, then you do not deserve to go to the next round.
– There was a feeling that there was a genuine desire and opportunity to pursue the great. But now we couldn’t do better, added Miettinen, who is leaving KalPa.
Vesa Pöppönen / All Over Press
The Kuopio team’s biggest setback came before the game, when the team’s number one player, 33 years old Jaakko Rissanen left the game. In the regular season, the forward was the fifth in the entire SM league points market. He scored 16+34=50 points during the season.
Also the number one goalkeeper Juha Jatkola was on the sidelines.
Pelicans–KalPa tonight was the 28th playoff deadlock in league history. Out of the previous 27 deadlock matches, the home team has won no less than 22 (81.5%), so the Pelicans confirmed that statistic.
Attacking the lynx
A full house, 4,403 spectators, howled at Isku Areena in Mastokaupunki’s ice sanctuary. Pelicans will face the big and mighty Ilves in the semifinals.
– We are in the semi-finals because we are an excellent team. We must continue to bring the best to the table. We don’t need to change much. We’ve played pretty much the same way all season and that’s what we rely on, Bryggman planned.
– Ilves is pretty well rested for the first game. But these are the games we play hockey for, this moment is everyone’s dream. We are ready, Lukas Jasek, who scored four points in the deciding game, assured.
The semifinal pairs are Tappara–HIFK and Ilves–Pelicans. The ski town of Lahti will see a great puck weekend, because due to the booking situation at the Nokia Arena, the Pelicans will host Ilves in their home hall on Friday and Saturday.