Team Finland won gold at the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) last weekend. It’s also got a couple of familiar faces on their roster; Miro Heiskanen, and Esa Lindell playing defense. Former Stars great Jere Lehtinen was also the general manager of the Finnish team for the annual world championship.
After the heart breaking loss to the Calgary Flames in seven games Miro Heiskanen, and Esa Lindell of the Dallas Stars decided to spend part of their off-season competing for their home country Finland. It’s common to see NHLers drop in the yearly world tournament after their team doesn’t make the playoffs. Or in the case of the Stars make the playoffs, and have guys on the roster jump ship after a loss in the postseason.
First time making noise, the Finnish national team defeated team Slovakia 4-2 to advance to the semifinals to play team USA. By then Heiskanen, and Lindell we’re four games into the world tournament. Both making positive contributions on the ice, and the s tat column. Miro Heiskanen had two assists with a +2 in the +/- category while Esa Lindell had o ne assist, and was +1.
Against Team USA, Miro Heiskanen was recognized as the games best player. Tallying a goal, and two assists to help Finland beat the United States 4-3. While Heiskanen will always be recognized for his offensive abilities first what truly makes him one of the best in the world is his ability to score, and his defensive abilities. In particular his smooth skating, and his stick work on defense.
Finally on home ice hosting the world championship vs Canada, Miro and Esa finished golden. Finland won gold defeating Canada 4-3 in overtime, and Miro Heiskanen was one of the best in the game. As noted after the game.
“The Dallas Stars star defender became one of the big solution players Miro Heiskanen, who scored two points in the final. The balance of the entire tournament was seven (1 + 6) power points in six matches.”
Photo credit: Twitter app/@IIHFHockey
Thus far Miro had the greatest achievement of his playing career last weekend according to Finnish media. “Miro Heiskanen experienced the most amazing moment of his puck career at Nokia Arena so far on Sunday.”. This cannot be argued, but the same can be said about the underrated defense stalwart; Esa Lindell.
For Jere Lehtinen he has been building Finland as a powerhouse on the global stage for many years. He has had a nose for talent,and recruiting for the Finnish roster for many years now. A former Star who recruited two current Stars helped Finland to shine bright en route to another gold medal.
Featured photo: Featured photo: Twitter app/@DallasStarsUK