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These two teams had their first match-up of the season just a week ago in Minsk. That time the home team was slightly better and took the points with them. Malte Strömwall was in a huge role with his three goals. Jokerit have been on a losing-streak and haven’t received a single point from their last three games. Dinamo had taken wins from their two most recent games as they’d beaten Jokerit and also Dinamo Riga.

Jokerit were on the fourth spot in the tight western conference and the Helsinki team still standed the full chance of being the leading team as the regular season goes by. Dinamo were holding on to the last playoff spot before Wednesday’s game. Jokerit captain Marko Anttila got his 300th game in the team in the game against Dinamo.

On the ice of Hartwall Arena the game remained tight for a long time as the numbers were tied 1–1 deep into the third period. Finally Jokerit scored the winning goal in the overtime.

”We weren’t ready right from the start on the battles as we should’ve been. We improved a lot and were very good in the second period. We were not efficient and scoring is a bit difficult for us. The team got the strenght to try until the end. You can look pretty much any statistics and still I think we deserved these two points. I am not worried, but we’ve had such a period that scoring is hard. We got the potential there.”, said Jokerit head coach Lauri Marjamäki after the victorious game.

Both teams scored in the first period

After a few high-paced shifts Dinamo got the puck into the offensive zone. Denis Mosalyov got the privilege to enjoy a great pass by Alexander Suvorov. Janne Juvonen at Jokerit goal stood no chance, when a fiery shot came towards him. Home team’s defence didn’t show their best in the situation. On the other hand Dinamo were able to utilize the full width of the rink to make an effective game play.

After falling behind in score, Jokerit had to push harder to get the momentum near Dinamo net. The home team was able to make Dinamo to take a penalty and thus Jokerit got the game’s first power play opportunity. After some good pressure Jokerit tied the game as defenceman David Sklenicka shot the puck behind goaltender Alexei Kolosov. The Czech Republic native kept playing with the good energy he established on Monday’s game.

”Sometimes I think I play better than I played today. I think I wasn’t that good, but I scored a lucky goal.”, the goal-scorer thought.

If Dinamo controlled the first half of the first period, did Jokerit get some possession as the period ran towards the end. There were many battles in the corners and near the end boards, but neither of the teams couldn’t get to the net with full force.

Chances, but no goals

The second period started in a bit cautious fashion. A few times puck went off the rink, causing breaks. Last match-up’s hero Strömwall was pretty quiet in the first period, but in the second one the Swedishman got his game going a bit better and he showed his skills with the puck in the offensive zone. Nicklas Jensen got a good scoring chance, but Suvorov who scored Dinamo’s opening goal, blocked the puck on the last possible moment.

Jokerit kept up with the good work and the home team was able to cross through the neutral zone towards Kolosov. Henri Ikonen passed the puck into the net to Kristjan Kombe, but the Estonia born forward couldn’t score his second KHL career goal only in his second KHL game. At the other end of the ice Jokerit goaltender Juvonen took care of the few pucks coming his way.

Dinamo defence blocked a lot of shots through the second period and thus kept Jokerit off the best scoring chances. After a long time of pressuring Jokerit got yet another power play in the game. Kalle Kossila and Jordan Schroeder got chances to use their shot, but the pucks went just wide of the Dinamo net. Kolosov was also alert with his glove.

Jokerit were put to a real test in the last minutes of the second period, when Dinamo received their opportunity on man-advantage. Markus Hännikäinen escaped from the Dinamo players and made his way to the net. After some nice tricks the Jokerit forward slided the puck to the post. Eventually the intermission came and the game was to go tied into the third period.

No decision in the third period

The home team got some good puck-possession in the first minutes of the third period, but neither goals or opportunities on special forces were at first given to Jokerit. Juvonen got to stay pretty calm at his work post, as he was able to do earlier in the game as well. After long enough pressure Mattias Tedenby was forced to take a minor penalty. Kolosov showed his worth for Dinamo by taking a few big saves, when the team was playing short-handed.

Deeper into the period neither of the teams were taking big risks to put the rewarded point in jeopardy. Only the power play that Jokerit received got some action there on the ice. The home team had a few great chances, but Kolosov stood strong. The visitors got into big troubles, as Jokerit got a moment of two-man-advantage. Despite the Jokerit sequence working efficiently together, they couldn’t capitalize.

In the closing minutes of the third period Schroeder was sent to the penalty box and Dinamo got their opportunity to score the game-winning goal. Strömwall took some role, but couldn’t get the puck past Juvonen with his heavy shots. Veli-Matti Savinainen couldn’t score on the last few seconds, so an overtime was needed to decide the game winner.

In overtime Tedenby was close to score, but John Norman was in time to backcheck the puck off his fellow Swedishman’s stick. Only in the next possible opportunity Kossila capitalized from Junttila’s pass and got the win for Jokerit.

Kossila found the way

The game was overall tight and there was no way of telling, which of the teams could take the bigger pot of points in the end. Goaltenders played a big part in the game and especially Kolosov at Dinamo net performed amazingly. Kossila, who had been energetic through the game, got to score the game-winning goal in the overtime.

”It was a very tough game and they were pressuring us with three guys all the time. We still were a better team with more shots and got the win in overtime. We were talking about patience and to wait our chance and it came in the overtime. We stayed hungry and Juvonen played well in the net.”, the Czech defenceman Sklenicka said.

As of now, Jokerit will head to a short Christmas break and they will get back on the ice on Sunday against Avangard at the home ice.

”I’m going to Czech Republic to see my family, my girlfriend and her family. I hope it’s going to be good for me. Last time my flight back got cancelled.”, mentioned Sklenicka.

There is a big possibility that Jokerit will have to continue their games without audience as covid restrictions are about to get more strict after Christmas.

”It was horrible last year without the audience. It’s important that people get to come to see our games. They are able to be aware of the safety procedures in the stands as well.”, head coach Marjamäki concluded.

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