After and exciting playoffs, HIFK swept the Espoo Blues today to take home their first championship since 1998. Each team had their hardships to reach the finals, but heading in HIFK was clearly the better team.
HIFK beat Jokerit in 7 games in a very exciting series before beating Lukko in 5 games.
Blues had a much harder time getting to the championship. They had to beat Karpat in a best of 3 series requiring overtime in their two wins. They then had to face the second best team in the league Assat, winning the series in 6 games. Their next series proved that the best team in the regular season may not always be the best team int he playoffs, as the 7 seed Blues shocked the number 1 seed JYP in 5 games.
It was a very exciting season for HIFK that saw Ville Peltonen return to his home team, the first outdoor Finnish ice hockey game, and Mikael Granlund not miss a beat after suffering a massive concussion in December. I just got this email from HIFK too (translated):
CHAMPIONSHIP IS OURS!
13 years of waiting has been rewarded!
Ville & frisky group of thieves to thank the fans throughout the season!
The atmosphere was incredible home in the hall!
Welcome to tomorrow 04/19/2011 at 18
Stadium championship party!
Can't wait to break out my HIFK Granlund gamer to celebrate!!!