Tappara plays anything but hockey against Saipa

Went to Tampere, Finland on October 19, 2008

I visited a hockey game this Saturday in which Tampere team Tappara who is among the leaders played against an outsider team Saipa. Surprisingly, they lost 3-6. The arena is located in the center of Tampere in a building that is mostly underground. I found out that there are two teams in Tampere тАУ the one that played in this stadium as well as another called Ilves.

Tappara started the game with a number of attacks. However, Saipa was quick to recover. One of their counter-attacks was successful. The two-player versus one-defender combination opened up the score. Soon after that Saipa scored again. Thus, the beginning was quite shocking for Tappara. I guess they could not believe that the game was going against their plan. They were able to succeed soon thus making the score 1-2. However, it was quite clear that Tappara was not able to restrain its opponent. Saipa was playing different types of hockey тАУ either fast counter-attacks or long sieges of TapparaтАЩs goalkeeper. Their attacks were successful. Here are two examples of Saipa attacking.

Why is SaipaтАЩs attacker alone with a puck in front of TapparaтАЩs goal? Where are TapparaтАЩs defenders?

The same questions here. In other words, the defenders left TapparaтАЩs goalkeeper along against quite skillful attackers of Saipa. Thus, they scored 4 goal pretty quickly. I would say that the outcome was quite clear after the first 20-minute interval. Tappara was playing its worst game in a season.

Tappara lost most of the face-offs. Whenever its players were trying to enter SaipaтАЩs zone the defenders stopped them immediately.

In general, Tappara is not a bad team. It has large and devoted fan society. They have got lots of nice banners. But this time Tappara did not deliver to the expectations of its fans. It is probably not a coincidence that they are at fourth position in the SM-league. That is, they are the first loosing team after those guys who are in the leading pack.