Kärpät 6-0 Jokerit (3-0)(2-0)(1-0)
End of the first period and Kärpät have a lead that slightly flatters them. Daneil Corso opened the scoring when left completely free in front of goal during a power play. The second came from Oskari Korpikari’s lashed shot from range with Kuusela and a defender masking Hallikainen, and Jonas Andersson added the third, surprising Hallikainen with a sharp turn. A noticeable difference in approach to taking goal chances: Jokerit are very much shoot on sight whereas Kärpät wait to create a good opening. An assured performance so far from Petri Koivisto in the home net, saving sharply a couple of times and even dummying Mike Bishai in front of his own net.
Forty minutes gone and Kärpät are over the hill and away. Jokerit started the second period still in the dressing room and early goals from Toni Koivisto and Kristian Kuusela killed off any realistic prospects of a Jokerit recovery. Not that that dissuaded them from trying. Kärpät’s reaction to the extended lead was to sit on it, and the visitors were not slow to take advantage. Clearly in the ascendancy during most of this period, they created a string of chances which were met by Petri Koivisto’s continued sharpness. His team mates in front of him were a different story, and matters reached a state such that Matti Alatalo felt compelled to call a time out in order to read the riot act afer 15 minutes. The final 5 minutes saw Kärpät reach parity in the play.
At the final whistle Kärpät have a victory that they can never beforehand have dreamed would be so comfortable. Juho Keränen added the sixth immediately at the start of the period. Journeyman Pasi Nielikäinen made his usual contribution to the proceedings by stacking up the penalty minutes, firstly and secondly being years behind everyone else in his comprehension of what is acceptable when tackling from behind, and thirdly not knowing when it’s time to keep his mouth shut. A calm, level-headed and ruthless performance from the champions, and one to quieten further those who were calling for Matti Alatalo’s head just a few games back.