Two teams from the capital travelled to the land of capercaillie yesterday. HJK had no problems with their cup game against JJK, winning 4-0 in Harju stadium, whereas HIFK's visit to Hippos proved less successful. To cut the story short, the first period was Jyp's, the latter half of the second and the beginning of the third HIFK's and the end of the event again Jyp's. Three goals in seventyfour seconds.
J-P Hytönen, the captain and a Jyväskylä native, was the man of the match (in football terms; in hockey we should of course talk about the amount of 'stars') and nailed 2+1. The winner was a proper clap-clap beauty...the older Helminen was her best friend helping with the make up, Kalle Kaijomaa the loving brother who gave her a lift to the party, Tommi Hannus, that old chaperone, introduced her to J-P - Mr Right, who took her home. She's a brilliant goal and, like all Jyp's home highlights, you can admire her here.
So, after the round seven, Jyp's at the top of the league and I can't go and see any of their matches. I hope to make it to the first home game after Christmas - it's always around the same time with my birthday, and I've a sort of tradition with my little brothers, now 12, that we go and watch a Jyp game. As it happens, this year it'll be HIFK's second visit to Jyväskylä.
In another news, seven Jyp players in total will go on loan to Mestis, with SaPKO of Savonlinna and for two matches. It's a wise move; the seven include four who currently don't fit into the regular team (defs Forsberg & Leppänen, forwards Niemi & Piiroinen), plus three who are recovering from injuries - i.e. the forwards Louhivaara & Tenkanen, and ex-Tappara Tuokkola, our second goalie. Jyp has a broad squad so, assuming that no one gets traded, this won't be the last consignment of this sort.
Also, I've been informed that Hippos will most probably go through a renovation during the next summer. This would bring the long-needed VIP lounges and add space for some extra facilities, which is all very welcome. If you ask me, having an old and rundown arena in hockey isn't as bad as having an old and rundown arena in football (you're indoors anyway, so the weather isn't an issue) and can even have a positive impact to atmosphere: a fully packed Hippos surely translates into lengthy pub and toilet lines and lack of breathing space, but into a genuinely electric atmosphere as well. Those VIP sections are badly needed, though, as it's corporate hospitality that brings big sponsor bucks to hockey clubs in this country - and Jyp doesn't have those at the moment. Harju stadium's renovation project is pending in city administration too, but I guess that'll be a clear runner-up when it comes to priorities.
Nevertheless, both of the sport venues were sold out last night: 4500 pairs of eyes in Hippos and 5125 in Harju. Not bad.