Niilo Ventela (Sakayla, Finland) is finally back with the Steele County Blades junior hockey club. He was the main goalie for the team during the 2018-19 season and would have likely logged big minutes this winter, but suffered a knee injury during the off season while back home.

He says he's fully recovered and ready to play a role with the team during the final weeks of the regular season and in the playoffs, "I'm really lucky the Blades waited for me and I'm able to play here now."

He tore his meniscus and says recovery "was tough. I had the surgery and the first two weeks I couldn't even walk properly. So it was really tough. But doctors and the trainers were really good and they were able to help me. So I'm ready to play and ready to go again."

Hear the full interview with Ventela by clicking on his name below.

Steele County Blades goalie Niilo Ventela

Ventela also assisted as an interpreter for a recent interview with Roni Huovila (Oulu, Finland).

Steele County Blades players appeared on AM 1390 KRFO's Talk of the Town program this week to promote Federated Insurance Night with the Blades on Saturday, January 18 at 7 pm against the Hudson Havoc. Steele County will also host the Minnesota Mullets on Sunday, January 19 at 3 pm.

Other home dates for the Blades are Sunday, January 26, Friday, January 31, Friday, February 7, and Saturday, February 15.

Also read: Owatonna High School boys hockey picked up a big section victory Tuesday, beating Farmington 4-1 behind Zach Kubicek's hat trick.