Gold with Summanen

In spring 1999, Harkimo managed to grab the coaching pair Erkka Westerlund – Raimo Summanen from HIFK. They had taken HIFK to a Finnish Elite League title in spring 1998 and later for a silver. The controversial duo took Jokerit to the last games of the playoffs during their first coaching season. In the finals, the team was defeated by TPS 3 games to 1.

Gold with Summanen

On Westerlund’s second season as head coach 2000–2001, Jokerit won the regular season, but Oulun Kärpät - eighth during regular season - sent them packing in the semifinals with a win of 3 games to 2.

Jokerit was set to face the winner of the Stanley Cup, Colorado Avalanche on the 18thSeptember 2001 in a NHL Challenge match, but the extensive preparations were wasted because of the last-minute cancellation after the 9/11 WTC attack.

Westerlund had moved to work for the Finnish Ice Hockey Association in the spring of 2001, and Summanen had taken over the post head coach of Jokerit. He had played for the club in 1993-94, and now led Jokerit to a title during his first season as head coach. Tappara was defeated 3-1 in the final match. As Tappara had won the regular season series and Jokerit had come in third, the decisive fourth match was to be played at Hartwall Arena. Jokerit had a chance to celebrate a gold for the first time in their current home arena.

Summanen coached Jokerit also for the 2002-03 season. The team ranked second in the regular season, and HIFK was sent packing fast after four matches in the playoffs. In the semifinals, Oulun Kärpät took the upper hand and scored a victory winning 3 games to 2. HPK took bronze medals as Jokerit players seemed unmotivated in the game.

In January 2003, Jokerit won the European Champions Continental Cup in Milan and Lugano. The tournament culminated in the final match between Jokerit and Lokomotiv Jaroslavl. The score was 1-1 after the initial playtime with Petri Pakaslahti scoring for Jokerit. When the game still wasn’t decided after overtime, it went into penalty shots. On the eighth pair of shooters, goalie Jukka Voutilainen managed finally to grab the victory for Jokerit.

In the spring of 2003, Summanen accepted a new job as the head coach for the Finnish national team, and Hannu Jortikka took over the reign at Hartwall Arena after having coached TPS to six Finnish Elite League championships. His Midas touch did not work in Helsinki though. Jokerit had to try to find a playoff place from extra playoff round during the first season of Jortikka. The team took their place at the playoffs by defeating JyP, but in the semifinals Kärpät snatched the victory again by winning the series 4 games to 2.

On the16th of September 2003, the Toronto Maple Leafs were on a European preseason camp and played a game against Jokerit, defeating them 5-3.

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