Team Finland beat the USA last night to capture gold medals at the 2019 World Junior Championship in Vancouver.
So join me in congratulating Head Coach Jussi Ahokas and the entire Finnish U20 National Team on their success.
Well done, boys. 3 golds in 6 years at the WJC is a helluva feat!
Special props to team Captain Aarne Talvitie (Penn State), Filip Lindberg (UMass), Urho Vaakanainen (Boston Bruins) and Jesse Ylönen (Pelicans Lahti). I had the chance to work with these fine players in the juniors before they went on to play college/pro hockey.
I'm especially proud of my boy Fille Lindberg who was playing for our second team at the U18 level when we started working together three years ago.
You know, Fille and I often visit this neat restaurant in downtown Helsinki called Tokyo 55 in the off-season. It's a great place to sit down, have a tasty meal and talk about hockey and life.
Last summer, over several post-workout, all-you-can-eat sushi buffets, we discussed how he'd have to approach his off-season training and freshman season at UMass so he'd make the U20 team.
Now he's a World Champion.
He does everything I tell him in the gym without questioning or second-guessing. He doesn't drink alcohol, doesn't eat pizza or candy, and gets his 9-10 hours of sleep every night. That's why he's successful and will go far as an athlete.
There's a shirtless picture on my Instagram where you can see how this approach is working for him. He's ripped out of his mind.
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Proud to see my boy @fille_lindberg selected to represent Team Finland at the 2019 World Junior Championship starting today. You told me you want to make the team when we talked about your goals for the upcoming season during summer training. And now you're there. Enjoy it! #wjc2019 #maajoukkue #nuoretleijonat #u20fi (photo credit: @ilarinackel)
To honor my buddy Fille and the entire Finland U20 National Team, I'm heading over to a sushi buffet tonight. I'm gonna celebrate by eating and drinking myself into a food coma.
I'm not much of a drinker but this is one of those rare moments where I plan to chug down a vodka shot or two to go with the makis, nigiris and sashimis.
In the words of the late NCAA Champion and Stanley Champion, Coach "Badger Bob" Johnson:
"It's a great day for hockey!"
P.S. For a training program that produces champions, go to:
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