What they said
by Andrew Podnieks|30 MAY 2022
Head coach Jukka Jalonen, Marko Antilla and Atte Ohtamaa celebrate with the trophy.
photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Amid the chaos and celebrations, popping of champagne and toasts, the Finnish players offered their thoughts on a wild game and an historic tournament.

Toni Rajala
“It’s always a lot of pressure when you’re the home team, but we didn’t take too much pressure from it. We enjoyed every game, had fun, played together as a team every game, and today we really battled hard and trusted each other. Even after they scored 3-3, we knew we still had a great chance to beat them in overtime and we did it.”

Marko Anttila
“It feels great! So much work. We had to win so many games in this tournament to succeed, and of course it’s something special to win here [in Tampere]. I’m from here, so it feels nice to win here with family and friends. These past few weeks have been so much fun. The fans have been unbelievable. The whole tournament, I’m trying to have fun on the ice, and I see that they’re having fun in the stands, too. Finland is a hockey country, so let’s see what happens in the next few days.” 

Mikael Granlund
“It was crazy; it was great! What an ending to the game. They tied it up in the third period, but we found a way in the end and this is just awesome. I think there’s no hockey for a little bit, so let’s just enjoy this. There’s been a lot of hockey this season.”

Coach Jukka Jalonen
“We didn't have chances to score in the overtime. They didn't have any chances. But then they took a penalty, and we knew that if they would do that, we will have a great chance to score the winning goal and that's what we did.”

If you think too much about what's happened, you will lose. So you have to forget about it and think about the next shift. For sure it's great. We haven't had any medals before in home championships, and now we took the gold medal. We are very happy and very proud about that. It's unbelievable. You can't even understand what has happened. Maybe in the summer, we can figure out what really happened. But three months and two gold medals, it's unbelievable.”

“We knew that it would be a tough game like it was last year. But you never know what will happen. We took a two-goal lead, but then we lost a bit of focus. You never know what can happen in OT, and fortunately they took a penalty and we got a scoring chance. It means a lot. We made history. It’s been so hard for every host nation to play for a medal, especially for the gold and we managed to do it today, we are very proud of that.”

Sami Vatanen 
“It's unbelievable with a home crowd when you win there. They've been giving us so much energy. You don't get many chances even to play in the World Championships in your home country. This was my first chance and we got gold. So it's unreal. We just kept going. You know how strong this group is. We don't get down from anything. It doesn't matter what the score is or what happens in the game. We just go and do our thing on the next shift and we got the prize for it. I think it's going to be pretty loud downtown. I can't wait to go there and see what's going on. We're gonna start with beer right now, and see where it goes!”

Joel Armia
“I don't know. It's really hard to describe, but just a great feeling. I didn't even know that the puck went in. But then the whole bench just exploded! So that was a great feeling.”

[his 3-1 goal] “It was kind of the faceoff play we've been trying to do during the tournament. It finally clicked in the finals. I kind of knew that with the Canadians. Their team is so skilled. They never quit. I knew it was gonna be a tight ending no matter if they score goals or whatever things happened in the end. It was going to be close game no matter what. So I kind of stayed of calm.”

[Olkinuora as MVP] “Great choice! I think his save percentage was like 99 or something at one point in the tournament. He's just a big piece of our team. Huge.”

[Jukka Jalonen] Somehow he just gets the team working together. All 20-whatever guys there is. Everybody has the same goal. We don't try to kind of force anything or do anything by ourselves. Everybody plays for the team and knows exactly what they're doing on the ice. So I think that's like the biggest strength of our team.”

Sakari Manninen
“I feel drained. Every emotion I could have, joy, goosebumps going on. It’s great to win the gold medal in our home arena. It was a great pass from Mikael. It was a great chance to score and thank God that went in.”

Valtteri Filppula
“Feels really great. We worked so hard for the whole tournament and then we beat Canada. That’s an ultimate prize. It was not just about me. There were more leaders in the team. There was a lot of captaincy in the locker room. It made my job a lot easier. I am just really proud of guys and really happy that I can be a part of this team. It is gonna be the great summer I think. It is exciting. We played great as team in the Olympics. And the same applies for this tournament. We played with a lot of confidence. But you never know… Winning is so hard, there are so many good teams.”