The game between SKA and Jokerit represented a battle between two rival schools of hockey, with the Finns under Erkka Westerlund playing a typically cagey game and Vyacheslav Butusov looking to his powerful offense to undermine that.
It’s a Russia-Finland clash that we’ve seen at the highest level of international hockey on many occasions, and at club level it gained extra spice from the impressive starts both teams had made to the season.
But in the end adventure out-ranked caution in St. Petersburg. Jokerit’s careful, precise game held SKA at bay until the 27th minute but finally Ilya Kovalchuk found a chink in the Finns’ pressing tactics and produced two goals to separate the teams. Kovi was to have a hand in all four goals, claiming an assist Viktor Tikhonov added a third in the final session and repeating the trick as Artemy Panarin wrapped it up late on.
Jokerit’s Steve Moses got a consolation for the visitors, who contributed fully to an entertaining game, but SKA took a 4-1 victo ...