Emil Julkunen wins Swiss Cup
Half the game was over and things looked bad for Grasshoppers Zurich - 1:6 against HC Rychenberg in the Cup-Final in front of 3200 spectators. But GC found its way back, Julkunen scored twice and the title went to Zurich.
The result after the first period was 1:4. How was the atmosphere on the bench?
Emil Julkunen: Well, I was sitting there and was thinking like "Jeez, what is happening here?" but it was not really a hopeless situation. We played actually quite well and it was small details that helped them score. So we just had to work further on the same way.
Sounds like a great plan. But only 23 seconds in the second period they scored yet another goal and then even the 1:6. What does one do then?
That was not really fun. On the other hand, floorball is a really fast sport and things can change pretty quickly. And at the same time, in such a situation, one doesn't really have that much more to lose. The worst case scenario is that you lose the whole game. Nothing else. So you just have to enjoy this and say, fine, what can I get out of such a desperate situation.
It sounds like as if it was even an advantage for your team, to play with no pressure?
No, definitely not! You will always want to be in the lead and steer the game. But it is possible to turn the bad outcome into something positive by saying - we have nothing more to lose. That can work. So you have to grab the chance.
You knew well what was going on in your head and what your attitude was, but were you sure about all your teammates, that they are seeing it the same way and are ready to fight some more?
When one is doing sports on such a level, the attitude is pretty clear, you always want to win, no matter if you are 1:0 in the lead or 1:6 behind. So I believe that we all had the same wish and the same will to do something with the result. It is of course a long way between attitude and the belief that it really is possible. To me it seemed like after we have managed to close the gap to 3:6, so came the belief that this was still in our hands.
Maybe other goalies would have left the goal after 1:6, but Pascal Meier didn't do so. Was it a correct decision?
YES! He is the best goalie I have ever played with and I would even say that he is the best goalie in the world at the moment. Such a player you don't send off the field just because it is 1:6. Those were not his goals. He didn't do any big mistakes. For us it was very important that he was ready to continue and help us to win this game.
After playing in SSL in Sweden, this is your first year in Switzerland. How is it going so far?
I am really enjoying myself more and more. It is clear that to move to a new country is a life changing event with new language and culture and many other things. I understand all of better now than at the very beginning. So now the plan would be to be also able to say something in German soon, and this is going the right way too, I would say. So all in all I am having a great time.
You were elected best player of your team, what does such an individual recognition mean for you?
One is playing for team, together with a team. That´s the priority number 1. For me, who hadn't won anything big on a club level before, it feels quite special and I was satisfied with my personal performance. But mainly it's nice to know that I have helped the team to achieve what there was to achieve. And that we did it as a team.
Swiss Cup-Final 2017
Grasshopper Club Zürich - HC Rychenberg Winterthur 8:7 (1:4; 4:2; 3:1)
Sporthalle Wankdorf, Bern. 3'200 Zuschauer. SR Zurbuchen/Wehinger.
Tore: 1. (00:02!) Buff 0:1, 3. Rüegsegger (Koskelainen) 0:2, 6. Hautaniemi (Conrad) 0:3, 14. Buff (Sundstedt/Ausschluss Chr. Meier) 0:4, 15. Chr. Meier 1:4, 21. (20:23) Buff (Borth) 1:5, 25. Hautaniemi (Schaub) 1:6, 33. (32:09) Graf (Zürcher) 2:6, 34. (33:43) Juhola (Rüegger/Ausschluss Gutknecht) 3:6, 35. (34:35) Cavelti (Rüegger) 4:6, 39. Julkunen (Graf/Ausschluss Sundstedt) 5:6, 45. Zürcher (Julkunen) 6:6, 52. Julkunen (Graf) 7:6, 58. (57:20) Rüegger (ins leere Tor) 8:6, 59. (58:18) Sundstedt (Koskelainen) 8:7.
Strafen: 2mal 2 Minuten gegen GC. 2mal 2 Minuten gegen Rychenberg.
GC: P. Meier; Ladner, Kaiser; Graf, Müller; Berlinger, Bier; Cavelti, Chr. Meier, Rüegger; Juhola, Zürcher, Julkunen; Steiger, Göldi, Zolliker.
HCR: Gruber; Sundstedt, Wöcke; Podhrasky, Niiranen; Gutknecht, Conrad; Holtz, Borth, Buff; Schwerzmann, Rüegsegger, Koskelainen; Schaub, Grunder, Hautaniemi.