Mariia Posa is with the Finnish team but on the reserve players list for the 2012 world championship in Vermont.
Interview by Heather McIntyre Oct 2010.
HM: When did you start playing hockey?
MP: I started playing hockey at the age of eight or nine when my dad took me and my sister to skating/hockey school, and I fell in love with hockey right away.
HM: Why did you choose UMD for school and hockey?
MP: Well, I was planning to begin my studies at University of Helsinki, but when Coach Miller asked me to come to UMD, I made a quick decision and said yes. I knew that the hockey program here was great, so considering my hockey goals, it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.
HM: How has playing for the Bulldogs influenced not only your hockey career, but your life?
MP: Playing for the Bulldogs has had a great influence on me. I have grown a lot as a person, and met so many wonderful people who I will never forget.
HM: Why did you elect to come overseas, to UMD, rather than stay at home in Finland and study and play hockey?
MP: It was kind of a quick decision to come here, and I wasn't planning to go abroad, but when this opportunity came, I knew it would happen only once in my lifetime, so I wanted to see what it would be to play hockey somewhere else.
HM: What have been the three toughest parts of adjusting from life before coming to University of Minnesota Duluth to life at UMD?
MP: I think I adjusted well and I was lucky to have so many wonderful people around me that I never had a hard time adjusting to a new country. The toughest part has been, and still is, a foreign language, but other than that everything's great.
HM: Tell me a bit about your international hockey experiences prior to the 2010 Olympics.
MP: I have played several international games with the Finnish national team, but my first big tournament was the 2009 World Championship.
HM: Relive a moment or two from the 2010 games, during which you won a bronze medal.
MP: Vancouver was my goal for many years, and being part of the team that won the bronze medal was something I'll never forget. None of the games were easy for us, and we really had to work hard in order to get into the bronze medal game. And games against Sweden are always tough and anything can happen. Of course, the best moment was after we scored the winning goal.
HM: Players coming from Europe tend to have more international experience than North American players. Can you comment on that your amount of experience on the Finnish national team has done for your game at UMD?
MP: The Finnish national team has given me a lot of experience when it comes to tough games. Games against other country’s national teams are always tough and you need toughness if you want to do well in college hockey.
HM: What are you looking to change about your game with the Bulldogs from last season to this season?
MP: It will be easier to begin this season because now I know better what college hockey is about and what to expect. I hope I can play more consistently this year.
HM: Where would you like hockey to take you?
MP: Hockey has already given me a lot, and I hope I will be able to play hockey for the next four years and be able to win something bigger than Olympic bronze.
HM: What are you taking in school? What do you plan to do after UMD?
MP: It is going to be psychology, however, when I go back to Finland I'm going to study to become a Kindergarten teacher.