Jokerit had been winning time after time and the streak of consecutive wins had raised to seven. On Monday The Helsinki team defeated Lokomotiv in Yaroslavl.
Torpedo on the other hand had lost three of their last games. On the previous game Torpedo lost 3–4 to Lokomotiv, so the same teams had been playing together a lot lately.
On Wednesday evening Andrei Tikhomirov started in goal for the home team and Anders Lindbäck guarded the net for Jokerit. The game remained tight to the very last moments, but Jokerit kept their streak going, once again.
”This was our fifth game in nine days and travelling on top of that. In these circumstances this was a really good game from us. The most proud of I am abot the third period. We found the way to win. The fury to win shows from the team”, cheered Jokerit head coach Lauri Marjamäki after the game.
Jensen did a foolish act
In the first period the teams were taking turns on the attacks. Torpedo got a solid start to the game as Kenny Agostino crossed in from the left side and shot the puck behind Lindbäck with a powerful wrister. The home team got a good momentum from the opening goal.
Jokerit got their game going on as the period went on. The visitors created a few good chances with sharps shots. Among others Iiro Pakarinen couldn’t get past Tikhomirov. The events on the ice got a good flow as there weren’t too many breaks interrupting.
The game shifted back and forth and neither of the teams seemed to get a total domination of the events. As the period was coming to the end, Nicklas Jensen was sent off the ice, because of illegal check to the head. He headbutted Torpedo’s Mark Marin. The defenceman got himself a minor from roughing as well.
”I don’t know, why he got provoked like that. That is not a part of winning hockey and we went the situation through with the team”, coach Marjamäki stated.
However, on the following four-on-four play Jokerit tied the game with a goal from defenceman Petteri Lindbohm. On the minutes that were left from Jensen’s five minutes, Torpedo didn’t manage to score.
”This was a tough battle game, which are nice to play in. It was a big win and big points for us. It was a big relief for me to score the first goal of the season as I have had shots and chances. It was awesome that now it went in, as I have my birthday tomorrow. Afterall, it was a team effort tonight”, said the defenceman Lindbohm, who turns 28 years old on Wednesday.
”We got to stay cool and focus on the next shift. Everybody needs to concentrate to be ready. We answered pretty well on that penalty”, the soon-to-be birthday guy added.
Risks weren’t taken
Jokerit started the second period off with a better puck control. The visitors were patient enough to choose the pace for their attacks. Also Torpedo got their chances, but in general the middle period started in the command of Jokerit.
Torpedo matched to the pace the better the further period went. Although, Jokerit remained in the charge, getting the puck deep in the opponent’s zone.
The home team got a good chance from a counter-attack, but Marek Hrivik’s shot went over Lindbäck’s net. The first line centerman’s effort was followed by a few good shifts for Torpedo. The needed quality for scoring was missing from the home team’s shots that time.
Along the period both teams avoided big risks and rather took the puck to full control before striking to another attack for the goal to put them in the lead.
Jesse Joensuu was very close from to finish from break-away, but Tikhomirov stood strong in his post. Kind of a similar opportunity opened for Torpedo’s Ivan Chekhovich, but Lindbäck managed to deny. The period closed up with an unsuccessful – yet industrious power play effort by the home team.
O’Neill to the rescue
It wasn’t too far into the third period, when Joensuu and Marin thew in a couple of punches in the corner after the game was whistled off. Neither of the teams wanted to give up the points this far in the game. Both players went to serve a minor penalty.
Torpedo’s goaltender TIkhomirov received a two-minute penalty from delaying the game. Jokerit got a good boost from the power play that followed, and later John Norman was able to put Jokerit one in front in the scoreboard.
The home team didn’t fall far behind as they got the tying goal shortly after Jokerit gained on them. Yegor Martynov went around the net, leaving Lindbohm behind – then he turned around and shot the puck to the net. Jokerit didn’t manage to regain the lead with a power play they got.
The winning goal came on the last minute of the regular time, when Brian O’Neill tipped in the shot that was sent from the blue line by Lindbohm. Pakarinen finished the game with an empty-netter making the final score 4–2 in favor of the visitors.
Eight is the number
As Jokerit got the deciding goal in the late third period, their winning streak grew up to eight consecutive games. The win against Torpedo was their second against them during the victorious time.
”We always focus only on the next game and try to improve from the last one. We have a good team and a good vibe in it”, Lindbohm reminded.
Jokerit will return to their home ice in Helsinki for the weekend as they will face HC Sochi on Saturday.