Saturday, April 1, 2023

Striker Brian O’Neill wants to aim high with EVZ

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EVZ striker Brian O’Neill and his Finnish wife Anniina have already settled into Zug with their son Declan.


Nicole VandenbrouckIce hockey reporter

Brian O’Neill is “Mr. Champions League”. The EVZ striker was elected to the team for the group phase, is Zug’s top scorer with 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) and the second-best scorer in the overall ranking. With his 2-1 goal in extra time in the quarter-finals against Mountfield (Tsch), he shot Zug into the semi-finals. The Finnish masters are now waiting there with Tappara Tampere.

The short trip to the first leg on Tuesday was something special for him, and not just for sport, says O’Neill, his wife Anniina smiles. The 27-year-old is Finnish and comes from a small town an hour outside of Oulu in the north of the country. The couple met through O’Neill’s ex-teammate at Jokerit Helsinki. The American, who comes from the small town of Yardley (2500 inhabitants, Pennsylvania), played in the Finnish capital for six years. She became his second home, thanks to Anniina the country now has a place in his heart.

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