On February 27, TUTO Hockey and HPK faced each other for the fourth time in the U20 SM-sarja this season. HPK took a 1-0 lead in the first period thanks to a nice shortside finish by forward Joonas Parviainen. TUTO forward Iivari Miikkulainen tied the game with a power play goal in the second period, but HPK was able to regain the lead. First defenseman Severi Savijoki drove fearlessly to the net and finished from close range, and less than two minutes later forward Michal Simon scored after a scramble near the cage. HPK held the lead for a long period, until Martin Volko and Risto Saarinen each scored a goal to even the game. Eventually, TUTO would win 4-3 in overtime as Adam Kalaj scored on the power play. Overall, this was a solid game and the teams were quite evenly matched. The intensity clearly ramped up as the game went on. TUTO’s power play was a difference maker as the home team scored three goals on the man advantage. TUTO goalie Severi Soukka had a strong game, he made some very good saves and he was sharp in key moments. Along with skilled forward Okko Kangasniemi, Soukka had a big part in this hard-fought win for TUTO.
Below are reports on four players from the game.
02 D Petteri Nurmi (HPK U20)
Nurmi was active in all three zones and the best defenseman in the game. He had great puck poise, didn’t rush plays and kept his head up. He moved pucks effectively and reliably to the forwards. He did a good job of keeping plays alive in the offensive zone. He has an offensive mind to him and he reads the game well. Defensively, he had an active stick and kept his gaps tight. A mobile defender, he displayed good lateral movement and he was quick to pucks. Nurmi is a first-year U20 player who joined HPK from Blues U18, where he had a big role as well.
02 F Joonas Parviainen (HPK U20)
Parviainen had a solid game on the third line for HPK. The winger opened the scoring with a nice finish off a pass from below the goal line. He kept the game simple, moved well in straight lines and made effective puck plays. He is not going to dazzle you with flashy passes, but he has a high work rate, brings energy to shifts and goes to the net with a prepared stick. Parviainen currently manages well in a supportive role at the U20 level. However, he also has a good, potent wrist shot that could be an asset if he manages to get into good spots more regularly.
02 D Marek Blaha (TUTO U20)
The 5’7″ defenseman from Czech Republic displayed great skating ability. He is an economical skater with a clean stride and very good lateral mobility. His transition skating is superb as well. He has swift hands, he can pick pucks quickly off the wall and make a play. He was reliable on the breakout as he sensed pressure well and moved pucks into good spots. His gap control in the neutral zone was pretty good. He lacks ideal strength and can be separated from the puck fairly easily at times. He didn’t bring a ton of offense in this game, but he did show some composure with the puck.
02 F Niki Korpialho (TUTO U20)
Korpialho had a decent game on TUTO’s third line. He had a quality scoring chance early in the first period and although he couldn’t finish the play, his low wrist shot off HPK goalie’s far pad caused some problems for the netminder. The 6’2″ forward is an interesting player as he skates and moves around the ice well. His line spent a lot of time in the defensive zone, but he was able to get the puck out of the zone effectively a couple of times. At times he was out of position and fell behind the play. The winger has raw talent, but his defensive game and decision making off the puck need some work.