Planet Junior Championship rekindles ‘good memories’ for Honka

The 2018 Earth Junior Championship gets underway Tuesday in Buffalo, and for Stars defenseman Julius Honka, the tournament rekindles memories.”Good recollections,” Honka claimed. “Good recollections.” [RELATED: Stars goaltending prospect Colton Place named to Canada's Environment Junior roster]Honka performed for Finland at two World Juniors — the 2014 match in Malmo, Sweden and 2015 in Toronto and Montreal.The 2014 occasion stands out. Honka was component of your Finnish crew that received a gold medal by defeating arch-rival Sweden in the championship video game in a match the Swedes were being hosting.”That manufactured it even somewhat more specific,” Honka reported. “It was great.”Honka experienced arrive to North The usa for that 2013-14 season, was taking part in for Swift Current inside the Western Hockey League and was off to some terrific start off when he was picked to engage in for Finland on the Earth Juniors, which options many on the leading under-20 players on the earth.He experienced just turned 18 and was the youngest participant with a Finnish roster that featured several long run NHL gamers, like existing Dallas teammate Esa Lindell coupled with forwards Teuvo Teravainen (Carolina) and Artturi Lehkonen (Montreal), defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (Buffalo), and goaltender Juuse Saros (Nashville).”Lots of gamers that play here now,” Honka explained. “We experienced an extremely excellent workforce. Everybody was enjoying together.”But it was no straightforward experience for the gold medal with the Finns. They finished 2nd within their group inside the preliminary spherical that has a 2-1-1 report, beating Norway and Ru sia, losing to Sweden in regulation and falling to Switzerland in additional time.They performed the Czechs inside the quarterfinals, and when Czech middle Radek Faksa scored 14 minutes in the 2nd interval, the Finns found on their own down 3-1. However the Finns scored four unanswered plans to earn 5-3 to advance towards the semifinals.Riding a wave of momentum and self-confidence with the comeback win more than the Czechs, the Finns rolled over Canada during the semifinals, 5-1. Finland scored two goals in the one:51 span early inside the 2nd period — the initial a single a sisted by Honka — to consider a 2-0 guide.When Teravainen scored over a penalty shot to increase the cause 4-1 with three:17 remaining, it had been chaos about the Finnish bench.”We ended up leaping up and down over the bench,” Lindell explained. “The mentor had to tranquil us down.”It was Finland’s initially win about Canada on the Environment Juniors in 12 yrs.”Yeah, which was a major win,” Honka claimed.That established up the aspiration matchup of Finland vs. Sweden in the gold medal recreation. The Swedes were unbeaten in the event and experienced defeated Slovakia during the quarterfinals and Ru sia during the semifinals. Sweden also experienced defeated Finland, 4-2, from the preliminary round.And the Swedes had their particular batch of long run NHL players in addition like Filip Forsberg (Nashville), Elias Lindholm (Carolina), Andre Burakovsky (Washington), Alexander Wennberg (Columbus), and Robert Hagg (Philadelphia).”I don’t forget the great environment,” Honka explained. “The rink was packed. Great supporters.”Lindell staked Finland to an early guide, tallying from your left circle 28 seconds into the activity. It had been Lindell’s 2nd intention of the tournament; equally came from Sweden and both of those while in the to start with moment of your activity.”[Esa] was excellent, actually great,” explained Honka. “He was a huge part of that crew — a big portion from the protection. Like now (in Dallas).”Sweden overcame that 1-0 deficit in addition to a 2-1 hole in the 3rd period to tie the sport and drive additional time where by Ristolainen beat Swedish goaltender Oscar Dansk using a backhand shot to provide Finland its first gold medal in the Environment Juniors given that 1998.The earth Junior Championship gold medal was a big offer in Finland the place the tv broadcast on the video game peaked at about one.3 million viewers, that means just about one-quarter on the country’s population was observing. Following the event, the earth Junior champs headed back to Finland to celebrate the victory with followers in Helsinki.”We went back to Finland while using the Brian Bellows Jersey trophy and things. That was special,” Honka claimed. “It was awesome to earn it in Sweden but then to go home to Finland as well as celebration there, it was particular to practical experience that.”Honka, who was among the many most viewed draft-eligible players from the match, played in all seven online games for Finland and picked up one support plus a plus-one ranking whilst skating to the third defensive pair.”He was the youngest [player to the team]. I did not know him in any way in advance of that,” Lindell said. “I just realized that he was getting an extremely good time. And, needle s to say, he performed seriously perfectly.”Honka was a projected first-round decide on in that summer’s NHL Draft in Philadelphia, and the Stars selected him using the 14th over-all select. Honka turned profe sional that subsequent season and played with the Texas Stars of your AHL, but Dallas loaned him to Finland to the 2015 World Juniors in late December.There wasn’t as much group achievements this time. Finland concluded seventh, and Honka experienced a strong displaying and was named certainly one of Finland’s prime 3 players on the tournament after tallying a person goal and a single aid in 5 video games. It had been yet another excellent knowledge for Honka.”Any national match is great,” Honka explained. “Those will be the kinds I look back at and the memories. Distinctive instances.”Especially in 2014 when Finland received gold within the World Juniors in Sweden.”It was an awesome knowledge,” Honka claimed. “It was brilliant to generally be part of that.”Mark Stepneski can be an unbiased writer whose posts on reflect his own views and do not depict formal statements with the Dallas Stars. You could abide by Mark on Twitter at@StarsInsideEdge.