Tom Conley ’15
Associate Sports Editor
Merrimack hockey is off to a promising 3-0 start in large thanks to senior goaltender, Rasmus Tirronen. His freshman year Tirronen came all the way over from Espoo, Finland, in hopes of climbing the goalie depth chart, which ultimately became a success for the determined goaltender. In his sophomore year he logged significant time in net splitting the duties during the first half of the season. As a junior he split time in the first half of the year with senior, Sam Marotta. Finally, in the second half of his junior year Tirronen established himself as the full time starter between the pipes. That year he received awards such as Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week along with being a four-time Hockey East Top Performer. After his hot start the sky is the limit for the senior, and the Warriors should be feeling poised about this young season.
Q: How was the transition from living in Finland to coming to school in the Greater Boston Area?
A: The transition from Finland to Boston was not as bad as one might think. Finnish people learn English in school so there wasn’t really a language barrier and my previous year playing in Kansas helped my English a lot. Having been out of school for almost 3 years was the only real transition I had to make, but thankfully it didn’t take me too long to figure out.
Q: How did Merrimack catch your attention?
A: Merrimack invited me for a fly down where I got to see the school, meet the coaching staff and see the facilities. What appealed to me immediately was the size of the school, which gave me a sort of security in that I would not fall through the cracks if I needed help with anything. The main thing though that I eventually based my decision on to attend Merrimack college was coach Dennehy, he felt genuine in what he said and his passion for the school was infectious.
Q: When you were growing up in Finland did you have any sports heroes?
A: Growing up back home my biggest sports hero was, and still is, Teemu Selanne. The man is a living legend within the Finnish ice hockey culture, unrivaled by anyone else.
Q: What age were you when you first got on skates?
A: I think I laced them up for the first time when I was 5, I switched between forward and goalie for a while but I always knew I wanted to play in goal.
Q: If you could play another sport other than hockey, what would it be would it be?
A: Golf, I love playing Golf during the summer as do a bunch of guys on the team
Q: Was your plan always to come overseas to the United States to play Hockey?
A: No, I didn’t even think about it until after my military service was done. After that I started looking into my options and decided to venture over here and try my luck with the Topeka Roadrunners who play in North American Hockey League (NAHL), and I haven’t looked back since.
Q: What do you major in?
A: Sports Management
Q: How far do you believe your team can go with after starting 3-0?
A: All the way.
Q: Who is your favorite goalie of all time?
A: Ari Sulander, Finnish goaltending legend.
Q: What does your mindset have to be like going into a shootout?
A: I don’t remember, I haven’t been in a shootout since my last junior season in 2010-2011 so I forget.
Q: What is your proudest moment as a goalie?
A: Hard to say, I would probably have to go with earning my first Collegiate Shutout against Clarkson last season.