A look at IFK's season in 2017
IFK started the new calendar year by winning three of the first four games, beating Jukurit, KooKoo and Kärpät. Even though the regular season wasn't the easiest one, the team's game has been improving as IFK won six of the last 10 games and finished ninth in the Liiga regular season.
Goalie Kevin Lankinen was impressive at the end of the regular season – he had four shutouts in his last seven starts. Roope Hintz is one player who was particularly strong as well. The 20-year-old forward scored 10 goals and 14 points in the last 12 games, including a hat trick in a 6-0 win against Ässät on March 11.
IFK advanced to the quarterfinals after beating Kärpät
After finishing ninth in the Liiga regular season, IFK faced Kärpät in the first round of the playoffs. Two wins would be required in order to advance to the quarterfinals.
The first game of the series was played in Oulu. IFK took the lead with Joonas Rask scoring in the first shift of the game. Kärpät scored twice to gain the lead, however, Robert Leino finished on a rebound and the scoring was 2-2 after the first period. Kärpät regained the lead in the second period but Jarkko Malinen tied the game for IFK at 44:42. IFK eventually won the game 4-3 in overtime as defenseman Teemu Eronen scored with a wrist shot at 63:49. The game-winner was assisted by forwards Juuso Puustinen and Joonas Rask.
The second game in Helsinki also went to overtime and IFK came out as the winner. Kärpät scored the game's opening goal, however, defenseman Daniel Grillfors tied the game in the second period. Later on Tomi Tuomisto gave IFK a 2-1 lead. In the third period, Kärpät tied the game but soon after that goal Juuso Puustinen scored 3-2 goal for IFK. With less than four minutes left in the third period, Kärpät again tied the game at 3-3. In overtime, Jasse Ikonen scored on a rebound after Tomi Tuomisto took the puck to the net. IFK took another 4-3 overtime win over Kärpät to advance to the quarterfinals.
The quarterfinals begin on March 21 against TPS in Turku. The first home game of the series will be on March 23. Four wins are required to advance to the semi-finals.
Tickets for IFK home games can be bought at Ticketmaster.