Janne Pesonen has especially remembered the world championship from Leijon. The joint play of Pesonen and Granlund gave Finland a 4–1 goal that perhaps decided the game.
Janne Pesonen, 41, was one of six Hockey Lions ennobled Thursday. The attention warmed the mind of the attacker, remembered from the 2011 World Cup.
– After all, this is a very unique and special attention. Humbly and proudly too. I value it very highly, Pesonen tells Urheilu.
On Thursday 9 November 2023, the ennobled hockey lions:
269 Mikko Eloranta
270 Tuukka Mäntylä
271 Janne Pesonen
272 Jukka Rautakorpi
273 Timo Favorin
274 Heikki Hietanen
I guess Pesonen’s best memory of Leijon is the world championship.
– They haven’t accumulated that much. Of course, some have more than one, when the guys play in that style. Of course, there are many other great memories and moments.
A memorable goal
One of the most memorable goals in the final is also strongly etched in Pesonen’s mind as the finest hit of his Leijonat career. Pesonen scored the gold medal, perhaps deciding the 4-1 goal from Granlund’s pass.
Granlund played the puck insightfully from the red line to the end. Pesonen was the first to catch up and put the puck in front of the goal from his knuckle and into the net.
– My skin still gets goosebumps when I think about that paint, Pesonen says with bright eyes while squirming a little because of the cold colors.
– We had never planned or talked about it, but still got the feeling that Mikke would throw the puck through the end. He threw and even so that the defenders had to slow down.
Pesonen got to the puck first. And as with other finishers, he knew what he was going to do.
– You must have entered through the post. Luck was still on his side. I scored a goal for future teammate Viktor Fasth in a tasty spot, Pesonen recalls.
According to Pesonen, Granlund already had an exceptional eye for the game at that time.
– When I was able to play the puck to Mike or he had the puck, I used my own wit to get the platform free for a goal position. Yes, the puck often found its way there.
Since 2011, Finland’s success in the World Championships has been strong. After the golden spring, Leijonat has won two world championships and been to the final several times.
Pesonen has followed the development of Finnish ice hockey with joy.
– It seems that (the championship) was something unattainable for a long time, or at least a rare treat. In Finland, good work has been done in hockey for a long time and now it is bearing fruit.’
The future is open
After his career ended in the spring of 2020, Pesonen has worked as an expert on television, but he has also participated in the World Youth Championships as a team leader.
Pesonen is currently studying sports coaching and management at Vierumäki. The former striker does not yet have a clear idea of where he wants to go.
– It has been really nice to develop, deepen my knowledge and gain new skills. The good thing is that I can go where I want.
– I’ve had a really good time as a team leader in the under-20s. Let’s see what else we can come up with.