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Being in a tremendeous winning-streak Jokerit was a strong contender to win the match-up on Monday. The Helsinki team got Jordan Schroeder back to the line up. Janne Juvonen got his chance between the pipes.

Traktor came to their home game after winning three of their last five games. In the most recent match-up they beated the reigning champion Avangard. In total Traktor had been playing that well that they had earned the third place in the Eastern conference. Defenceman Albert Yarullin played his 400th regular season game in the KHL.

The teams played once before against each other this season. In Finland the game ended 5–4 in overtime in favor of Jokerit. Forward Kalle Kossila summed up 2+2 points in that game. At that time also began the winning-streak for Jokerit.

Jokerit was trailing most of the time, but managed to take the game to the penalty shootout. The deciding goal came only in the fifth pair and the result was that The Helsinki team’s winning-streak ended after 11 games.

”It was tough game. Sometimes we would be able to win with such performance, but not today. Their goaltender was excellent and a bit of unefficiency in scoring was probably the reason, why we got only one point today”, said Jokerit head coach Lauri Marjamäki after losing a game in a long time.

Traktor took the lead with an early goal

Traktor started scoring right from the get-go as Nikita Tertyshny took advantage of a rebound in front of Jokerit net. Traktor’s best point scorer put the puck behind Juvonen and gave the home team an early lead. Hannes Björninen got a good chance to put Jokerit on the scoreboard as well, but goaltender Roman Will denied.

Traktor tried to shake Jokerit up with heavy hits and high pace game, but the visitors were able to answer to the requirements of the game. There weren’t many breaks in the game as the teams took the puck up and down the ice and the defences kept the game tight.

As the first period went on, neither of the teams put their forechecking too high. That let the teams cross the neutral zone with solid puck control. Julius Junttila had a good shot after one of these crosses, but the puck went just wide off Traktor’s goal.

”It was a bad start for us and it took us a period to get going. We can’t do it against such team. The last 40 minutes and the overtime were good”, said Nicklas Jensen after the game.

Jokerit received their first power play at the end of the first period. The visitors got some pressure to the offensive zone, but apart from a few shots by Iiro Pakarinen, Jokerit weren’t close to disturb Will’s peace at his work post.

Jokerit got on the scoreboard

The home team started also the second period strongly. Traktor took their attack from the corner to the net and the puck was played to Marsel Sholokhov, who was able to shoot the second goal for the home team. Juvonen wasn’t able to stop the shot, which came from a short distance.

After getting two goals down, Jokerit were still able to push towards the offensive zone. The visitors had a longer shift going and the puck was taken behind the net. From there Brian O’Neill saw Jensen in a potential scoring sector. A blink of an eye later Jokerit was on the scoreboard with their first of the night.

”We had our opportunities in five against five. We would’ve wanted to win, so we are not satisfied. O’Neill is a talented player. One of the best in the league. He is very good with the puck and to find spaces. I am more of a shooter and he passes the puck well”, Jensen described the chemistry between him and the centerman.

”I could’ve scored more goals from his passes. He sees the ice so well”, the Danishman added.

Traktor got their first power play along the second period. Jokerit were able to prevent the home team to score their third goal and as the minor penalty ended, Jokerit had a strong shift controlling the puck – mostly in the offensive zone.

As also in the first period, in the second period there were long stints without breaks. Jokerit got their game going after getting their first goal. Will had to be constantly aware between the pipes, as Jensen and other Jokerit forwards were shooting the puck at him. Björninen had to notice that the Czech goaltender was at his top level on Monday, as the Jokerit forward got a great chance to tie the score.

Jokerit got the tying goal

Jokerit were in a need of a goal, but in the first minutes of the third period managed Traktor to keep the puck to themselves. Sholokhov also got a chance to score the second goal of the night for himself, but Juvonen was in the way.

Schroeder who returned to the line up for Monday’s game made his presence known, when he moved across the ice to Traktor’s zone. The American shot a powerful wrister behind Will. Right after the tying goal The Helsinki team got an opportunity with special forces.

The game went on with both teams bringing the puck to the offense in their own turns. Jokerit were a bit closer to score the leading goal, but the score remained 2–2 as the clock was ticking towards the buzzer.

Lawrence Pilut, who had played a lot in the game, had his chance to win the game for Traktor in the very last minutes, but Juvonen stood in the way. It meaned that the overtime was needed once again.

Winning-streak came to an end

In the overtime O’Neill showed his individual skill with a spin-o-rama, but the backhand shot went wide. Apart from that, there wasn’t much risk taking in overime. Only in the very last minute Björninen shot the puck to the post of the Traktor goal.

The score had to be decided in the penalty shootout. Traktor lead after the first pair and Kossila’s effort had to be checked in the video review. After a long referee meeting the goal was allowed. After many players failed in their shots, Tomas Hyka was the player to win the game for Traktor and end Jokerit winning-streak.

”It’s going to be tough. It’s a tough place to play and a tough team. We need to be ready from the start and get our game going from the first puck-drop”, Jensen stated.

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