Former NHL player Sami Kapanen thoroughly enjoyed the gold-medal victory by Finland at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship on Tuesday.
His son, Kasperi Kapanen, a prospect with the Toronto Maple Leafs, scored the golden goal as Finland won 4-3 in overtime against Russia to claim the gold medal before a partisan crowd at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki. His goal came 93 seconds into overtime.
"I said to my Dad, Hannu, before the overtime that Kasperi is going to score a game-winner," Sami Kapanen said in his latest blog for NHL.com/fi. "When it happened, I just jumped up and celebrated."
It was a special moment for Sami, who played 831 games in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers. For him, it was another episode of passing the hockey-playing torch to his son.
"I hope that after this victory people talk that I'm Kasperi’s dad, not that Kasperi is former hockey player Sami Kapanen's son," he says in the blog.
He also reveled in being a part of the scene at Hartwall Arena for the victory, a gold medal claimed on home ice. It is Finland's second gold in three years.
"The Finnish crowd was really in a mood," Kapanen wrote. "If people hesitated a little bit in the quarterfinal, in the final the atmosphere was so intense. I've never seen a hockey event like that.”
Kapanen is also excited about the wave of accomplished youth that will be graduating to the senior national team throughout the next few years to have an impact on the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.
"In the gold-medal team, Finland has a bunch of quality players for the Finnish national team in the future," he said.
Sami Kapanen gives his thoughts on hockey in the NHL and Finland during his bi-weekly blog on NHL.com/fi