Children of Bodom -yhtyeen jäseniin tieto kappalevalinnasta teki suuren vaikutuksen. Tammikuun lopulla yhtyeen jäsenet Henkka ja Jaska vierailivat Jääkiekkoliiton toimistolla tuliaisten kera. Paikalla olivat Nuorten Leijonien päävalmentaja Antti Pennanen, MM-kapteeni Anton Lundell ja A-maajoukkueen GM Jere Lehtinen.
Vierailun jälkeen joukkueen jäsenille postitettiin Children of Bodom -aiheiset kirjat, pipot ja lapaset. Aiheeseen sopivasti sinivalkoiset tekstiilit oli teetetty juhlistamaan yhtyeen Follow The Reaper -levyn 20-vuotisjuhlaa.
Postipaketista löytyi myös saatekirje, jonka yhtye julkaisi verkkopalvelussaan:
Kiitos Nuoret Leijonat!
When the Finnish U-20 ice hockey team lost semifinal game to USA the atmosphere in the locker room was filled with disappointment. The players have just given their all, mentally and physically, never backing down to the dream of becoming world champions. The U-20 team head-coach Antti Pennanen knows how hard everyone on the team has worked for this. He shares the players disappointment but has to find a way to fire them up again. They still have one important match to play. The puck for the bronze medal game will be dropped in less than 24 hours.
Pennanen has played metal music before games to amplify the teams fighting spirit. Now he decides to try and find a silver lining despite what has happened and asks his crew to edit a short highlight movie of the tournament so far. As the soundtrack to this motivational clip Pennanen chose Children of Bodom's "Are You Dead Yet?"
Then, at the team meeting before facing the Russians, Antti plays this highlight reel and talks about how talented and unique musician Alexi was. Alexi will forever be one of the best guitar players in music history. Antti stresses the importance of the game ahead - the players can still create history - the moments in life where one gets to play medal games are unique too. With Antti’s words, the images of Alexi and COBs music in the back of their minds the players step onto the ice and beats Russia 4-1. The underdogs had prevailed. One can only imagine that “Are You Dead Yet" echoed thru the Edmonton stadium locker room hallways, before and after the game.
The next day Jaska Raatikainen reads in the morning news about the Finns winning their last game. ”Winning the Bronze game was our way to honor and salute the memory of Alexi Laiho”.
Jaska starts to think about how Children of Bodom can thank the team for their markable gesture and result. Luckily last autumn COB designed a ”pond hockey winter hat”. One of the hats theme is Follow the Reaper, with blue and white colors (Finnish flag). U-20 rhymes the fact that 2020 was 20th anniversary of the Follow the reaper album. Other thoughts and similarities are obvious to this occasion. Let them remain unmentioned.
Thank you U-20 Finnish ice hockey team for honoring the memory of Alexi Laiho and congratulations to the bronze medal.
- Children of Bodom
Artikkelin yläosassa on kuvia yhtyeen jäsenten vierailulta Jääkiekkoliiton toimistolle.