22.1.18 Derek O´Brien

Aittokallio: It was a great battle between two good teams

The festive game againts Vítkovice attracted more than 15,000 fans to the O2 arena! Finally, the decisive goal of the game came in the 10th round of shootouts. Finnish goalie SAMI AITTOKALLIO stopped nine of the ten opponent´s shootouts and enjoyed celebrations with fans aftewards.

That was a long game today - over three hours. You must be glad to finally win it...
Yeah, especially the way we won after all that happened. I think we deserved it. We had so many chances to score and their goalie played an unreal game. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get three points but thankfully we got at least two.

How did you manage the long delay before the start of the third period?
I just tried to keep my mind in the game, keep focused and not worry too much because there’s nothing we could do about it. So I just tried to relax a little bit and make sure I was ready when it was time to start again.

Then after the third period and overtime there was a long shootout, where it seemed nobody could score. What were you thinking during that?
It was the same thing in that there was nothing I could do about it. I just had to take it one shot at a time and hoped that one of our guys would score eventually. Luckily, we did. I think it was a great battle between two good teams.

At last, there was a goal and then you stopped the last shot. How did you feel?
I felt happy that it was over and even happier that we got the win. It’s huge for us because we need these points so badly.

You’ve now started three straight games and won them all. How do you like playing regularly again?
It’s nice. I love it. I’m happy to go to the rink every day and work hard and keep it going because we won today but that’s not going to matter tomorrow. We’ve gotta work hard tomorrow again and be ready for the next game, because it’s gonna be another big one.

Going back to December, you have now won six games in a row. Do you feel unbeatable?
No, not at all.

But you must be confident now…
Of course, yeah. That’s what comes from winning, but that’s not going to help me stop the puck the next game. I need to focus the same way every single game and every single save. It’s not going to get any easier and maybe it will even get harder because now that we have a bit of a winning streak here, the other teams are going to be extra prepared for us.

Finally, it was a special game today, with the special jerseys and a big crowd to watch the game. How did you like it?
It was really nice. There were 15,000 people watching and it’s always nice to play in front of a big crowd. It was a bit like a playoff atmosphere and I’m sure it’ll be even wilder when we get there. Playing in front of the big crowd was nice and I like the special jerseys too.

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