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Aittokallio: I wanna be no. 1 in the AHL

Aittokallio: I wanna be no. 1 in the AHLYoung Finnish goaltender shared his feelings on the upcoming season with Eurolanche.

Calvin Pickard, Kieran Millan, Kent Patterson and Sami Aittokallio. It is clearly the Avalanche organization and its two main affiliates will not have problems with the goaltending situation in the upcoming seasons. Four young goalies are ready for the senior hockey after their junior careers ended. One of them was born and raised in Finland – the country which has produced many good goaltenders.

Aittokallio spent last years in his home country and not in the States like the rest of a foursome. “I have always had so good coaches and I've been developing year after year so I felt like there is no need to leave,” said Aittokallio in the exclusive interview for www.eurolanche.com.

Sami entered the top Finnish league called Elite in the season 2009/2010. Since then he had started to appear in more games in the second highest league too. “Well juniors are always juniors. Biggest difference between Elite (top Finnish league) and second highest league is pace of the game. There play lots of good players in Elite league and you will face more accurate and harder shots,” remembers on his time in two top Finnish hockey leagues.

Sami was very busy in the last seasons. He did not play only for two local hockey teams in the top and the second hockey league. He was dressed for two junior hockey team and two national teams (U19 and U20 tournaments) too. Sum up, Aittokallio appeared in 40 games of six different teams in 2010/11.

In the last season, he played “only” games in the top and second league and junior national team. Sami definitely loved the number one league back in home, but had hard debut there. “I got pulled before second period ended,” smiles today on the game on which he will never forget.

Aittokallio shined at the last World Junior Championship when he made 56 saves in the semifinal against Sweden. His national team finally lost 2:3 in shutouts. Due his age he is unable to continue the junior representation. His way currently heads to the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL. It will be his first North American experience. “I want to be number one for Lake Erie,” said without doubt for Eurolanche. “I don't have any big expectations. I'm just coming over to do what I have always done. Of course I want to and I need to keep developing so I can someday make it to "The Show" and I'm willing to do all it needs to make it there,” shared his feelings on the upcoming training camp and the entire season.

No Denver Cutthroats of the CHL, no Finnish hockey league, only Lake Erie. The main objective is ready for Sami. It will be not easy for four young goaltenders. All are well-talented and more than ready for the higher level. The season of the Monsters organization will depend on young guns without any support of some veteran goalie backup. Cutthroats will get two of them after camps. That two who failed to make to the AHL roster will not be definitely average additions to the new Denver-based team. Cutthroats´ management knows today for sure they will get big support from anybody from this foursome.

Highest ranked Avalanche goalie prospect Pickard and Aittokallio with his rich international experiences are top candidates for the new duo in the next season in the Lake Erie. Everything will depend on them. It could be a big success of the Avalanche organization and their scouts. We believe in only this option. And if you ask Sami on his goaltending style, he makes fun like all the time: “Some other can figure out my style. I just try to catch that small black rubber thing!”


David Puchovsky, Slovakia, eurolanche@eurolanche.com
13/09/2012 - 14:00 Eurolanche book - banner

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