2010-born Finnish team unbeaten as group play carries on
JYP Punainen has enjoyed the view from the top among fellow ‘10 Finnish teams for the entirety of the season. Unbeaten throughout 19 games, they have been a dominant force thanks to a high-powered offense fueled by Eliel Halonen. In the team’s first 14 games of group play, Halonen collected an astounding 62 points (44G, 18A) over nine games. Seven of those goals came on the power play and two were short-handed tallies.
Consistency has been the model of Halonen’s game, finding the scoresheet in every game in the first batch of group play matches. His best performance came on Nov. 19 when he totaled eight goals and 11 points against JyKi Valkoinen.
The next two scorers behind him are Veeti Virolainen (17G, 24A) and Kalle Vitanen (23G, 10A). Providing the club with a monstrous three-headed attack that teams were unable to defend. Outside of these three, the roster was provided with a wealth of depth rarely seen on teams at this age level. In fact, 16 total players had put up at least 10 points across the entire slate of competition. Statistical numbers that supplied the team with a plus-162 goal differential.
Halonen and the rest of his cohorts put forth efforts that start right when the puck drops until the final whistle.
With the next stage of group play currently underway, the biggest question was if JYP would be able to keep up its incredible attack and rely on Halonen to continue to lead the way. Through five games thus far, the answer has been a resounding yes.
JYP has flown out of the gates, with a 5-0-0 record. Halonen has picked up where he left off, amassing eight goals and 22 points in four contests. Reinforcing the offensive output with Halonen have been Luca Komu (4G, 10A) and Elias Rantanen (9G, 4A). A special teams star, Rantanen sits first in power-play goals with two, and a short-handed goal to his credit as well.
There are seven games left on the schedule for JYP, including one against No. 3 JYP Musta. While Halonen and company look to continue on their unblemished record, opponents will be eyeing an end to their impressive run. They certainly possess what it takes to be considered among the top tier of their country. Now only time will tell if they can continue their torrid pace.