Zero game, zero game, zero game …
sports Rasmus Reijola has opened the season with three zero games he has held in consecutive away games against HPK, Tappara and SaiPa.
The goal for Reijola has remained clean for the first 182 minutes and 42 seconds of the season. A couple of extra minutes came when Tappara crashed only in overtime.
– It couldn’t have started better. It’s a fact a 27-year-old goalkeeper laughs over the phone at Peurunga Spa.
He is not on holiday anywhere, but Sport, who had been evacuated due to the corona situation in Vaasa, will stay in Peurunga before Friday’s JYP game.
– We were just bathing with the guys.
Espoo-based Reijola is a name unknown to the general public, who played his first Finnish Championship league match only at the age of 26 in January 2019.
It was preceded by a long adventure that took him all the way to Alaska and from there to Rovaniemi.
Reijola was 16 when he first left alone far from home. The direction was an exchange student year at South Kent School in Connecticut, USA.
– It was such a place of growth, for the first time away from the mother’s beads. I learned the language and it was easier to go to Yankee college later, he says.
Reijola has spent a significant part of his life in the wonderland of America. He studied and played in Minnesota at St. Cloud University in 2012-16 and then for another year in Anchorage, Alaska.
In St. Cloud, Reijola got a taste of success when the team won the NCHC University Championship.
– We managed for reasons beyond my control, which can be seen in the number of games, Reijola throws himself a little.
It’s true that he didn’t play much, just a few games a season. Reijola was left in second place after the games grabbed 24 NHL matches in the Montreal Canadiens Charlie Lindgren.
Reijola’s role also became familiar to Reijola in Alaska and Espoo Blues A-juniors, where Jonathan Iilahti overtook him in the playoffs.
– It has taught me patience. I’m too tired to press work to do and I have learned to appreciate the fact that every time you get to play, it is a wonderful thing.
– Playing time is important, of course, but it’s not the end of the world if you’re ever a second-timer. One should not put one’s head in the bush because of it.
Paint in Mestis
In the spring of 2017, Reijola returned to Finland with a bachelor’s degree in economics in his pocket. There was a problem: the playground did not want to be found anywhere.
The clubs were not overly interested.
– I understand clubs. It would have been a big risk to have such a young guy who had played so little. No one had any knowledge of what I was like.
In the end, RoKi aka Rovaniemi Kiekko was encouraged to offer the contract.
– I have it forever grateful that they gave me a chance. I probably wouldn’t be in the league now if I hadn’t gotten to RoK then.
You got to play a lot in Mestis.
– I gained confidence and a game routine.
And Reijola snatched one goal, even in his home corners in Espoo, in an away match against Espoo United. The handsome vibe sank into an empty United knot.
– That disc is with my parents on the bookshelf.
In January 2019, HPK had an emergency. Emil Larmi had injured his leg and somewhere had to get a sudden successor.
The phone rings in Rovaniemi. Reijola got the opportunity of his life and set off in a hurry towards the south.
– I didn’t even go to training.
He jumped on HPK’s bus, which drove to Helsinki for a away game against HIFK. In his league debut, Reijola rejected a 3–2 victory. Good extracts were rewarded with an extension agreement.
For this season, Reijola moved to Sports, where he was acquired as an experienced Niko Hovisen to tighten.
– Risto (Dufva) has promised to play whichever the puck will grip.
Now he grabs Reijola, who felt more confident even before the start of the season. Behind it all is hard work and leveling up.
– No magic potion has been drawn here.
The mute zero tube is allowed to continue as long as it continues. Reijola does not take the pressure from it, but says that his goal is to snap profits.
The goal is also to establish its own foothold as a league watchman. However, the puddle is not everything.
– It would be those master’s papers to be handled at some point, Reijola in.
– Now is not the time.