“Likonen, National Champion! And the Canadians qualify for the Grand Final!”
About a year ago, on June 24, 2021, Arturi Leconn sowed mass hysteria in Quebec on Saint-Jean-Baptiste night by sending CH to the Stanley Cup Final Thanks to his decisive goal in overtime in Game 6 of the third round series against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Like many fans, Finn still remembers it as if it was yesterday. Lehkonen first spoke about this historic goal on TVA Sports’ “Dans l’œil du chat” podcast, hosted by Félix Séguin, dedicated to the unexpected and unexpected elimination match at CH last summer. Listen to both episodes here:
In an interview, Likunin told an unpublished anecdote: Corey Perry predicted that he would be the one who would have the honor of scoring the winning goal. Unbelievable, though!
“During the break between the third half and extra time, Corey came up to me and said, ‘Like, it’s time for you to score a goal’… After the match, he said to me, ‘I told you so!’ It was very funny,'” he recalls with pleasure.
Likonen says he was so excited that he felt “a black out One minute after the goal.”
“Honestly, what happened is a blur in my head how it happened, although I have seen this goal several times since then. It is definitely the most important goal of my career. Plus, it was at St-Jean-Baptiste! It was an extraordinary moment! “.
As a good teammate, Lehkonen gives a lot of credit to his line-mates Philip Danault and Brendan Gallagher.
“Phil gave me a great pass. Gallagher also wanted the ball, but I couldn’t see anything but the goalkeeper and the net.” “I was free, but he didn’t pass me the disc. Laughing Gallagher.
In the end, Leconn hit the mark with his shot…and Berry with his predictions!
“Before extra time, I told Laconan in the locker room that he had a chance to make history,” Berry recalls. It was much better because he was the one who scored. Fortunately we were able to win that night.”
Leconn sends the Canadians to the final! –
And so Perry was fulfilling a childhood dream.
“The Canadians were my favorite team growing up. It was very special for me and my family to help a team with such a rich history reach the final for the first time in 28 years. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the expected result in the finals after that against Tampa Bay Lightning. But we can Saying we really tried.”
On top of that, without impressive personal strength, CH could very well have been eliminated in the first round, while the Toronto Maple Leafs led the series 3-1 after four games. Inspired by veterans like Perry, Eric Stahl, and Shea Weber, Dominique Ducharme’s men have stood up brilliantly.
Perry identified a very specific moment when everything changed.
After the fourth game, Dominic asked Staal and I to tell the other players what the playoffs were. The response was that you shouldn’t take anything for granted. Staal won the Stanley Cup in his second year in the NHL (in 2006), and so did I (in 2007), but Staal never had another chance to reach the final. Veterans like Shea Weber and Ben Chiarot also didn’t know when they might return. I made an impression on my teammates.”
“We had confidence to go into the fifth game,” he said. We knew it wasn’t over and it was possible to get back on the show. I told the others, “Do your best and don’t think too much about the rest. Hockey must remain a game and we must have fun.”
I heard his message clearly.
We know the rest: The Habs won games 5, 6 and 7 to oust their eternal rivals from Ontario.
And that was just the beginning of a crazy, unforgettable saga.
Image source: AFP
“Still on high»
Unlike Lehkonen and Perry, Paul Byron is still an essential member of the team.
Even if he suffered a reversal of glory, while CH followed him with a season of misery, he will still have unforgettable memories of that first appearance in the Final since 1993.
“It’s something I will remember for the rest of my life. The atmosphere was incredible, goosebumps. After qualifying, when I was walking around town, everyone was still in great shape. high. It was a special moment for me and my family.”
On the podcast, you’ll also hear testimonials from Danault, Gallagher, and Cole Caufield.
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