The home team Dinamo had lost four of its five previous games and they held the ninth spot on the western conference. Jokerit were leading the conference as they had done for a while now. Given the statistics, the Helsinki team was a big favorite to win on Sunday.
The game itself was pretty even, but Dinamo power play showed its power. Malte Strömwall scored a hattrick and lead the home team to 5–3 victory.
”The team battled very well and that’s all I can ask for. Scoring has been tough for us lately and we need to do a great amount of work to score a goal. We fought well, but this time the result was negative”, Jokerit head coach Lauri Marjamäki thought after the game.
”An elite scorer scored three goals and our goalie couldn’t do anything. We tried to tell the players that we still have 11 minutes to go. We were able to push to the end. Today we lacked eight guys and we played with the guys we had and I am proud of the guys that were on the ice”, he added.
Jokerit started the game with good tempo and were able to push the pressure deep into the offensive zone. However, the plays went mostly near the end boards, so the visitors couldn’t cross to the net holding the puck.
Once Dinamo finally got the puck into Jokerit zone, the Helsinki team’s defence cleared it out pretty smoothly and got the puck-control back to themselves. Dinamo top line created some big chances to Anders Lindbäck’s net, but with also a bit of luck the Swedishman kept it clean. Lindbäck had to step out for a moment for some equipment fix and Janne Juvonen took a few shifts, but then the situation normalized.
Jokerit got the game’s first man-advantage, when the first period was half-way through, but weren’t able to do much capitalize. The first period concluded with tight and exciting fashion as both teams got their own chances to get on the scoreboard.
Dinamo had some seconds left on power-play in the beginning of the second period. They weren’t able to score on the man-advantage, but shortly after it the home team got an opening in the neutral zone. A good chance came, when Lindbäck gave a rebound. Eventually Taylor Beck scooped the puck in and put Dinamo ahead.
Jokerit got the puck in to the net, but the referees decided to not allow it, as Markus Hännikäinen was basically on top of goaltender Patrik Rybar in the goaltender’s zone. Jokerit bench and coaching staff seemed to totally disagree with the decision. Jokerit had to really fight back as they were forced to play short-handed for two minutes, when they were about to get some goot stuff going.
On five against three players Dinamo created a good sequence and after a few rapid passes Strömwall had a rather easy task to score the second goal for his team. Also Jokerit got a short time for power play there around same minutes and that helped them to get back to the game. Nicklas Jensen scored the first one for the Helsinki team.
Jokerit finished the second period with good momentum as for example Veli-Matti Savinainen and Teemu Turunen had their own opportunities at Rybar’s net. Still, Dinamo were able to maintain their lead and keep their hopes up about the points, even though Jokerit certainly got the feeling that they could come back. Henri Ikonen showed some physical play as he got two Dinamo players out of his way near the end boards.
Artyom Demkov was sent to the penalty box as well as Tommi Laakso, who served the minor penalty for Jokerit goaltender Lindbäck. The exciting events kept on happening as Turunen got the puck just barely over the goal line. Referees once again went to check the situation on the video – this time the decision was different. Jokerit had evened the score to 2–2.
The joy didn’t last that long for Jokerit, because Strömwall scored his second of the night on a power play again. The Swedish sniper got the puck on the point and blasted a smooth shot into the net behind Lindbäck. Right after the goal Ikonen took a reckless penalty from hooking. Fiery Dinamo power play striked again – and Strömwall fulfilled his hattrick. That was enough for Lindbäck, who gave his post to Juvonen.
Ikonen got Jokerit just one goal behind in score, but that wasn’t enough as Rybar and Dinamo defence took care of the last minutes and secured the result for the home team. Roman Gorbunov managed to finalize the score with an empty-netter.
”We were well in the game, but our penalties cut our momentum a bit and they scored the goals. My and the team’s effort was all right today and we can be proud of ourselves. I am not satisfied with my own game this season and I’ve spent a lot of games scratched. On the other hand, I haven’t deserved to play more. I try to play well, when I get the chance on the ice”, Ikonen said.
Dinamo power play was the biggest reason to the result of the game. Strömwall scoring three and Beck playing a part in all four power play goals were the two most important names in the home team’s roster. On next week KHL is on national team break and some players head to the Channel One Cup.
Jokerit will continue their season on Monday 20th in a home game against CSKA Moscow.
”I will just rest. We’ve been going here and there between Finland and Russia, so I’ll just stay home, relax and spend time with my girlfriend”, Ikonen concluded about his plan for the next week.