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It was a big Friday night for the Canadiens’ European prospects

Romanov, Ikonen, and Ylönen all had big nights for their teams.

Shanna Martin

With three European prospects in action last night, something was bound to happen that would entice the fans of Montreal Canadiens. It didn’t take long for the prospects to make a case for the highlight reels in North America this morning.

Montreal’s own tsar, Alexander Romanov, started it all by assisting on a goal by Linden Vey. While the defenceman didn’t really participate in the immediate action before the goal, he was part of the build-up. CSKA beat Slovan with a 4-1 score, and Romanov’s assist came on the game-winning goal.

Joni Ikonen was the next one to let loose. On a breakaway, the Finnish centre used his wicked hands to best the goalkeeper and open KalPa’s scoring on the night.

Ikonen quickly followed up in what became a rout of Jukurit. The game finished 7-2, and Ikonen scored the 4-0 goal on the power play with a great one-timer.

KalPa needed the win and are only two points away from the last playoff spot — a spot that Ikonen promised us that his team would make in a recent interview.

He has seven points (5G, 2A) in 10 games after his eight-month absence from hockey due to a knee injury sustained in the off-season.

Not to be outdone in the Finnish and Montreal market, Jesse Ylönen wanted to show that anything Ikonen can do he can do just as well. Much in the same way as Romanov, Ylönen got an assist on a goal, however it was at a similar length of time from when Ylönen touched the puck to the actual goal being scored as in Romanov’s case. However, the goal did showcase Ylönen’s skating. Just look how he beats the defender, who has a head start, over that distance.

With the Pelicans bogged down in a shootout in their own Isku Areena, the game finished 9-4 in the end, but was 4-4 at the start of the third period, Ylönen stepped up with a breakaway goal to score the game-winner. The goal was a delicacy where Ylönen showed both patience and skill.

Later in the third period, Ylönen used the defender to screen his shot from inside the blue line to score his second of the night, recording his third point.

Ylönen now has 22 points (12G, 10A) in 43 games, and for the first time this season he is over a half-point-per-game scoring rate. It will be very interesting following the speedy winger in the playoffs staring in the middle of March.