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Janssen, Titans Eliminated From Playoffs


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The VHL’s 40th season included a very hotly contested European Conference, as the Titans, Reign, and Express all battled it out. Of course, there is only one spot available on the Continental Cup Finals for a European team, and this season, that one team was the Riga Reign, who were able to defeat Helsinki in seven games and sweep Cologne on their way to becoming European Conference Champions. But more should be said of the Helsinki Titans, who were the favored team of many to make it to the finals.

“Clearly, it’s a bit of a letdown to be eliminated in the first round like that,” said Titans forward and offseason acquisition Willem Janssen. “But this team is in general very young, and we’ve got a good future. Right now, I’m the old guy of the group.”

Janssen will be heading into the final season of his VHL career, after spending six with the now-defunct Vasteras Iron Eagles and the recent season in Helsinki. However, he’ll have to be a veteran presence after the losses of forward (and leading scorer) Damon Tyrael and goaltender Eggly Bagelface to retirement. So can the Titans truly compete next season?

Janssen thinks so. “I confidently believe we can be a competing team next season,” he says. “Like I said, there are a lot of players on this team that are young and developing quickly. So as long as we keep moving forward and maybe make a few small moves in the offseason we’ll keep competing like we did this season. Except hopefully it’ll end with a cup next time.”

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