Leijonat returned to training after one day of rest and started preparing for the match against Denmark that ends the first group.
The Lions will face Denmark in their last World Cup preliminary group match on Tuesday. Today Leijonat returned to the ice after one rest day.
The team practiced with the same formations as they played for most of Saturday’s match against Austria.
In the match against Austria, the Lions’ second field Kasperi Kapanen – Antti Suomela – Kaapo Kako was the Lions’ most cheerful attacking trio.
The head coach Jukka Jalonen however, decided to wake up his sluggish team in the third set. He moved Kapanen to the first chain and transferred Teemu Hartikainen from chain one to chain two.
Kapanen had time to bring some excitement to the play of the first chain with his skating during the pair change.
– Kapanen was the best player on the field today. That’s why we made the change to the end of the game. Let’s see how we continue from here, Jalonen stated after the 3–1 victory to Urheilu.
However, based on today’s exercises, that experiment was momentary. Today Leijonat practiced with the formations that Jalonen put together for the third set of Friday’s match against Hungary and with which Leijonat played most of the match against Austria.
Goalkeepers: Emil Larmi, Jussi Olkinuora, Christian Heljanko
Teemu Hartikainen – Sakari Manninen – Mikko Rantanen
Mikko Lehtonen – Atte Ohtamaa
Kaapo Kakko – Antti Suomela – Kasperi Kapanen
Olli Määttä – Miika Koivisto
Harri Pesonen – Juho Lammikko – Joel Armia
Mikael Seppälä – Ville Pokka
Ahti Oksanen – Hannes Björninen – Marko Anttila
Niklas Friman – Nikolas Matinpalo
Additional strikers: Jere Sallinen, Waltteri Merelä
The lions’ players also managed to cause surprise and amusement among the training followers. The Lions’ number one center Sakari Manninen a soda mug was taped to the helmet.
During training, it became clear that it was the other players’ stubbornness. Of course, Manninen himself did not see the mug attached to his helmet. It took him a long time to notice, though the others were holding back their laughter.
Teemu Hartikainen described the ice as “fine”.
– It was about keeping a smile on the ice. A nice little addition to your workouts.
Hartikainen did not say who was the main architect of the ice. According to Hartikainen, Manninen finally noticed the mug on his head himself.
– Half of the training was spent with a can in my head.