Finland men's national ice hockey team

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Finland men's national ice hockey team
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Leijonat / Lejonen
(The Lions)
Association Finnish Ice Hockey Association
General Manager Jere Lehtinen
Head coach Kari Jalonen
Assistants Lauri Marjamäki
Ari Moisanen
Ville Peltonen
Captain Jussi Jokinen
Most games Raimo Helminen (331)
Most points Raimo Helminen (207)
IIHF code FIN
IIHF ranking 4 Decrease2
Highest IIHF ranking 2 (first in 2011)
Lowest IIHF ranking 7 (2005)
Finland national hockey team jerseys - 2014 Winter Olympics.png
First international
 Sweden 8–1 Finland 
(Helsinki, Finland; 29 January 1928)
Biggest win
 Finland 20–1 Norway 
(Hämeenlinna, Finland; 12 March 1947)
Biggest defeat
 Canada 24–0 Finland 
(Oslo, Norway; 3 March 1958)
IIHF World Championships
Appearances 56 (first in 1939)
Best result Gold medal with cup.svg Gold: 2 – 1995, 2011
World Cup
Appearances 6
Best result Runner-up (2004)
Olympics
Appearances 14 (first in 1952)
Medals Silver medal.svg Silver (1988, 2006)
Bronze medal.svg Bronze (1994, 1998, 2010, 2014)
International record (W–L–T)
664–736–156
Medal record
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1988 Calgary Team
Silver medal – second place 2006 Torino Team
Bronze medal – third place 1994 Lillehammer Team
Bronze medal – third place 1998 Nagano Team
Bronze medal – third place 2010 Vancouver Team
Bronze medal – third place 2014 Sochi Team
World Championship
Gold medal – first place 1995 Sweden Team
Gold medal – first place 2011 Slovakia Team
Silver medal – second place 1992 Czechoslovakia Team
Silver medal – second place 1994 Italy Team
Silver medal – second place 1998 Switzerland Team
Silver medal – second place 1999 Norway Team
Silver medal – second place 2001 Germany Team
Silver medal – second place 2007 Russia Team
Silver medal – second place 2014 Belarus Team
Bronze medal – third place 2000 Russia Team
Bronze medal – third place 2006 Latvia Team
Bronze medal – third place 2008 Canada Team

The Finnish men's national ice hockey team, or Leijonat / Lejonen (The Lions in Finnish and Swedish), as it is called in Finland, is governed by the Finnish Ice Hockey Association. Finland is considered a member of the so-called "Big Six", the unofficial group of the six strongest men's ice hockey nations, along with Canada, the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden and the United States.[1]

Recent history[edit]

Team Finland's current jerseys (outside of Olympic competition).

At the 1998 Olympic men's ice hockey tournament, Team Finland came away with Bronze, after defeating Canadian national team 3-2. Teemu Selänne led the tournament in goals scored (4) and total points achieved (10). The tournament was the first in which professional players from the National Hockey League (NHL) were allowed to participate, allowing national teams to be constructed using the best possible talent from each country. The 1998 Olympic tournament therefore came to be known as the "Tournament of the Century". Unlike previous Olympics where athletes could choose five-star hotel accommodations (such as the USA Men's Basketball team), NHL players were required to stay in the Olympic Village like other athletes.

At the 2006 IIHF World Championship, Finland achieved 3rd place winning the Bronze medal game against Canada. Petteri Nummelin was named to the Media All-Star team.

In the 2006 Winter Olympics, Finland won a Silver medal, coming close to winning in the final but losing 3–2 to the Swedish national team. Finland's goaltender Antero Niittymäki was named the MVP of the tournament (only 8 goals against in the whole tournament) and Teemu Selänne was voted best forward. The format was changed from the 1998 and 2002 tournaments, to a format similar to the 1992 and 1994 tournaments. The number of teams was reduced from 14 to 12. The 12 teams were split into two groups in the preliminary stage, which followed a round robin format. Each team played the other teams in their group once. The top four teams from each group advanced to the quarter-finals.

At the 2007 IIHF World Championship, Finland lost the finals to Canada's national team. The final marked the second time that Finland and Canada met in the final of a World Championship, the first time being in 1994. However only a year before in 2006 Finland had defeated Canada 5–0 in the Bronze medal game. In 2007, Canada were looking on form, being undefeated coming into the playoff round, while Finland had registered two losses in the run-up to the finals. Rick Nash scored on the powerplay at 6:10 into the first period on a one-timer from the point from a pass by Cory Murphy off of Matthew Lombardi, to put Canada up 1–0. Near the middle of the period, Eric Staal scored in similar fashion also on the powerplay, assisted by Justin Williams, and Mike Cammalleri. 9:11 into the second period, Colby Armstrong scored to give the Canadians a 3–0 lead. This goal ended up as the game winner. Finland had some discipline difficulty in the first two periods, taking 6 minutes apiece in penalties in both periods. Finland started to bring up the pressure in the last ten minutes, and Petri Kontiola scored a nice glove-side goal on Ward at 51:08 assisted by Ville Peltonen, to put the Finns on the board. Only with 3 minutes left Antti Miettinen scored to bring Finland within one, 3–2. However, only one minute later Rick Nash scored on a skillful breakaway to put the game away, 4–2 final for team Canada. The Canadians were outshot 22–18, but the Canadian goaltender, Cam Ward, kept them in the game as he was solid between the pipes. They also were able to capitalize on the powerplay, which ended up being decisive in the Canadian win. Kari Lehtonen was voted Tournaments best Goalkeeper.

Captain Mikko Koivu holds the trophy as the Finnish team arrives at Market Square in Helsinki to celebrate the title with about 100,000 fans.

At the 2008 IIHF World Championship, Finland achieved 3rd place winning the Bronze medal 4-0 against Sweden's national team.

At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Finland came away with 3rd place winning 5-3 against team Slovakia. During the tournament, Teemu Selänne of Finland became the all-time leader for points scored in the Olympics.[2][3] He notched an assist in his second game of the tournament for 37 career points, surpassing Valeri Kharlamov of the Soviet Union, Vlastimil Bubník of Czechoslovakia, and Harry Watson of Canada.[2][3]

At the 2011 IIHF World Championship, Finland won its second World Championship, beating the Swedish national team by a score of 6–1. As two highly ranked neighboring countries, Sweden and Finland have a long-running competitive tradition in ice hockey. Before the game, mainstream media in both countries titled the match "a dream final".[4][5] After a goalless first period, Sweden opened the game with a 1–0 goal by Magnus Pääjärvi in the second period at 27:40. Seven seconds before the period's end, Finland's Jarkko Immonen scored to tie the game 1–1. Finland took the lead early in the third period, scoring two goals at 42:35 and 43:21 by Nokelainen and Kapanen. Sweden took a time-out before the last period's half but did not manage to regroup, and the tournament was decided by a clear 6–1 victory to Finland by Janne Pesonen's, Mika Pyörälä's and Pihlström goals.[6] Team Finland's Jarkko Immonen led the Tournament in both goals and points scored with 9 and 12 respectively.

In recent years, Finland has been consistently ranked among the best teams in international hockey. Currently the team is ranked 2nd with 3345 points in the IIHF World Ranking.

Tournament record[edit]

Olympic Games[edit]

Year Result
1952 7th place
1960 7th place
1964 6th place
1968 5th place
1972 5th place
1976 4th place
1980 4th place
1984 6th place
1988  Silver
1992 7th place
1994  Bronze
1998  Bronze
2002 6th place
2006  Silver
2010  Bronze
2014  Bronze
Totals
Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
16 0 2 4 6

World championship[edit]

Canada Cup[edit]

  • 1976 – Finished in 6th place
  • 1981 – Finished in 6th place
  • 1987 – Finished in 6th place
  • 1991 – Finished in 3rd place

World Cup[edit]

  • 1996 – Quarterfinal
  • 2004 – Runner-up

Team[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Roster for the 2015 IIHF World Championship.[7]

Head coach: Kari Jalonen

No. Pos. Name Height Weight Birthdate Team
2 D Jokipakka, JyrkiJyrki Jokipakka 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) 700190000000000000090 kg (200 lb) (1991-08-20)August 20, 1991 (aged 23) United States Dallas Stars
6 D Mäntylä, TuukkaTuukka Mäntylä 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) 700182000000000000082 kg (181 lb) (1981-05-25)May 25, 1981 (aged 33) Russia Amur Khabarovsk
7 D Lindell, EsaEsa Lindell 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) 700194000000000000094 kg (207 lb) (1994-05-23)May 23, 1994 (aged 20) Finland Ässät
15 F Ruutu, TuomoTuomo RuutuA 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in) 700194000000000000094 kg (207 lb) (1983-02-16)February 16, 1983 (aged 32) United States New Jersey Devils
16 F Barkov, Jr., AleksanderAleksander Barkov, Jr. 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) 700196000000000000096 kg (212 lb) (1995-09-02)September 2, 1995 (aged 19) United States Florida Panthers
18 D Lepistö, SamiSami LepistöA 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 700188000000000000088 kg (194 lb) (1984-10-17)October 17, 1984 (aged 30) Russia Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg
20 F Pesonen, JanneJanne Pesonen 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in) 700183000000000000083 kg (183 lb) (1982-05-11)May 11, 1982 (aged 32) Sweden Skellefteå AIK
23 F Louhivaara, OssiOssi Louhivaara 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in) 700189000000000000089 kg (196 lb) (1983-08-31)August 31, 1983 (aged 31) Switzerland Lausanne HC
24 F Kemppainen, JoonasJoonas Kemppainen 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 700195000000000000095 kg (209 lb) (1988-04-07)April 7, 1988 (aged 27) Finland Oulun Kärpät
25 F Hytönen, Juha-PekkaJuha-Pekka Hytönen 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) 700184000000000000084 kg (185 lb) (1981-05-22)May 22, 1981 (aged 33) Switzerland Lausanne HC
26 F Immonen, JarkkoJarkko Immonen 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in) 700196000000000000096 kg (212 lb) (1982-04-19)April 19, 1982 (aged 33) Russia Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod
27 F Kontiola, PetriPetri Kontiola 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in) 700192000000000000092 kg (203 lb) (1984-10-04)October 4, 1984 (aged 30) Russia Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
28 D Salmela, AnssiAnssi Salmela 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 700191000000000000091 kg (201 lb) (1984-08-13)August 13, 1984 (aged 30) Sweden Färjestad BK
32 G Saros, JuuseJuuse Saros 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in) 700182000000000000082 kg (181 lb) (1995-04-19)April 19, 1995 (aged 20) Finland HPK
33 G Engren, AtteAtte Engren 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 700184000000000000084 kg (185 lb) (1988-02-19)February 19, 1988 (aged 27) Russia Atlant Moscow Oblast
35 G Rinne, PekkaPekka Rinne 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 700189000000000000089 kg (196 lb) (1982-11-03)November 3, 1982 (aged 32) United States Nashville Predators
36 F Jokinen, JussiJussi JokinenC 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) 700187000000000000087 kg (192 lb) (1983-04-01)April 1, 1983 (aged 32) United States Florida Panthers
38 D Hietanen, JuusoJuuso Hietanen 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) 700185000000000000085 kg (187 lb) (1985-06-14)June 14, 1985 (aged 29) Russia Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod
41 F Pihlström, AnttiAntti Pihlström 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) 700182000000000000082 kg (181 lb) (1984-10-22)October 22, 1984 (aged 30) Russia Salavat Yulaev Ufa
50 F Aaltonen, JuhamattiJuhamatti Aaltonen 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in) 700185000000000000085 kg (187 lb) (1985-06-04)June 4, 1985 (aged 29) Finland Jokerit
55 D Ohtamaa, AtteAtte Ohtamaa 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 700192000000000000092 kg (203 lb) (1987-11-06)November 6, 1987 (aged 27) Finland Jokerit
63 D Jaakola, TopiTopi Jaakola 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 700190000000000000090 kg (200 lb) (1983-11-15)November 15, 1983 (aged 31) Finland Jokerit
70 F Hartikainen, TeemuTeemu Hartikainen 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in) 7002100000000000000100 kg (220 lb) (1990-05-03)May 3, 1990 (aged 24) Russia Salavat Yulaev Ufa
71 F Komarov, LeoLeo Komarov 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) 700190000000000000090 kg (200 lb) (1987-01-23)January 23, 1987 (aged 28) Canada Toronto Maple Leafs
72 F Donskoi, JoonasJoonas Donskoi 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) 700184000000000000084 kg (185 lb) (1992-04-13)April 13, 1992 (aged 23) Finland Oulun Kärpät

Retired jerseys[edit]

Raimo Helminen, often called "Raipe" or "Maestro" by his fans, scored the most points in Leijonat history and also holds the world record for most international games played.

The national team has retired Raimo Helminen's #14 and Jari Kurri's #17 jerseys. They currently hang in Hartwall Areena in Helsinki.

Notable players[edit]

List of head coaches[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NHL announces World Cup of Hockey for 2016". The Canadian Press. 2015-01-24. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Ice hockey: Selanne sets Olympic scoring record". Vancouver. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Selanne's 37th point tops Games mark". ESPN.com. The Associated Press. 20 February 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010. 
  4. ^ Anrell, Lasse (14 May 2011). "Drömfinal". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Jääkiekossa unelmafinaali Leijonat–Tre Kronor". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish) (Sanoma). 13 May 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Aykroyd, Lucas (15 May 2011). "It's gold for Finland!". IIHF. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  7. ^ 2015 Roster
  8. ^ Matti Hagman statistics
  9. ^ "Jalonen Leijonien seuraava päävalmentaja". mtv3.fi. 2013-06-07. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 

External links[edit]