Sport (Vaasa)

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Vaasan Sport
Vaasan Sport Logo.png
City Vaasa, Finland
League Liiga
Founded 1939
1962 (the ice hockey team)
Home arena Vaasa Arena
Colors               
Owner(s) HT Vaasan Sport Oy
General manager Ari-Pekka Pajuluoma
Head coach Pasi Räsänen
Captain Antti Uitto

Sport, known by its full name as Hockey Team Vaasan Sport OY, is a Finnish ice hockey team playing in Liiga, and is based at Vaasa Arena (capacity 4448) in Vaasa. The team was established in 1939 as IF Sport (Idrottsföreningen Sport).

History[edit]

Vaasan Sport was founded in 1939 as IF Sport. The team was involved in the founding of the Finnish top division Liiga, formerly known as SM-Liiga, in 1975, but was relegated only one year later after the 1975-1976 season (roster for their first and only SM-Liiga season).

After the relegation Sport played in the Finnish 1st Division (since then renamed to Mestis), until they were relegated in 1991-1992 to the Finnish Second Division. Climbing back up to the 1st division proved to be a tough task and wasn't accomplished until spring 1997, with the game-winning goal of the deciding game against Kiekko-67 being scored by Kari Teräväinen in overtime.

The 2008-09 season was a success as Sport won the Mestis championship. However, in the league qualification series the team lost the last game to Ässät in a best-of-7 format, thus remaining in Mestis. The overall qualification series were close as Sport at one point was a single goal away from beating Ässät in overtime and being promoted to Liiga, but was unable to score.

Sport struggled with bad economy during the 2000s, which almost led the club to bankruptcy. The club board made improvements to secure the future of the club, cutting down on the budget for the whole new season, as well as installing new head coach and former world ice hockey champion Antti Törmänen, who started to build a new young team from scratch. Eventually the club surfaced from its financial struggles and went ahead to consistently fight for the championship victory again.

In 2014, during the 2013-2014 Mestis season, it was confirmed that Sport would be promoted to Liiga for the 2014-2015 season, regardless of the outcome of the ongoing championship. This was due to former Liiga team Jokerit transferring to KHL, leaving an open slot in the Finnish top division.

Fans[edit]

The official fan club is called Red army. The fan club Ultras 06 function as non-official supporters.

Roster[edit]

Updated January 21, 2014[1][2]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
41 Finland Aaltonen, MikaelMikael Aaltonen D L 23 2013 Turku, Finland
21 Finland Aaltonen, NicoNico Aaltonen LW L 26 2013 Lappeenranta, Finland
30 Finland Aurén, JeanJean Aurén G L 20 2010 Kruunupyy, Finland
81 Finland Gröndahl, AriAri Gröndahl D R 24 2011 Helsinki, Finland
91 Finland Halava, MikaMika Halava RW R 27 2010 Pori, Finland
87 Finland Hattunen, JarkkoJarkko Hattunen LW L 27 2013 Kajaani, Finland
34 Finland Haverinen, JoniJoni Haverinen D L 27 2013 Uusikaupunki, Finland
5 Finland Heikkinen, EetuEetu Heikkinen (A) D L 26 2008 Suomussalmi, Finland
70 Finland Kankaanpää, TomiTomi Kankaanpää D L 23 2006 Vaasa, Finland
16 Finland Kiviniemi, JaniJani Kiviniemi F L 26 2003 Vaasa, Finland
28 Finland Kivimäki, SamuliSamuli Kivimäki (A) RW R 25 2013 Vaasa, Finland
36 Finland Kokkala, LassiLassi Kokkala C L 25 2013 Turku, Finland
26 Finland Köykkä-Luopa, AnssiAnssi Köykkä-Luopa F L 22 2013 Kurikka, Finland
17 Slovakia Kristof, MichalMichal Kristof C L 20 2011 Nitra, Slovakia
15 Finland Kujanpää, MikaMika Kujanpää F L 24 2003 Vaasa, Finland
67 Finland Kuusela, JoonasJoonas Kuusela G L 24 2013 Espoo, Finland
12 Finland Laaksonen, JereJere Laaksonen C L 23 2013 Eurajoki, Finland
74 Finland Lehtinen, KaiKai Lehtinen D L 23 2010 Viiala, Finland
71 Finland Luomala, MarkoMarko Luomala RW L 34 2013 Vaasa, Finland
23 Finland Nässlin, MarkusMarkus Nässlin F L 23 2005 Vaasa, Finland
20 Finland Nässlin, SimonSimon Nässlin D L 21 2006 Koivulahti, Finland
38 Finland Nyholm, RobertRobert Nyholm RW L 26 2013 Jakobstad, Finland
18 Finland Piispanen, MarkusMarkus Piispanen LW R 25 2010 Jyväskylä, Finland
32 Finland Saarela, TuomasTuomas Saarela G L 20 2012 Kiiminki, Finland
8 Finland Seppelin, ChristofferChristoffer Seppelin F L 21 2008 Vaasa, Finland
76 Finland Tuohilampi, KristianKristian Tuohilampi (A) D L 24 2013 Helsinki, Finland
10 Finland Uitto, AnttiAntti Uitto (C) D L 31 2008 Seinäjoki, Finland
33 United States Henrion, JohnJohn Henrion C R 23 2014 Worcester, MA, USA

Retired numbers[edit]

  • # 29 Håkan Hjerpe
  • # 27 Tomi Väkelä
  • # 14 Sami Laaksoharju (not officially retired, but number has been off rotation after the death of Laaksoharju)

Former notable players[edit]

Former notable coaches[edit]

Website[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pelaajat". Hockey Team Sport. Retrieved 2013-12-20. 
  2. ^ "Sport". Eliteprospects.com. Retrieved 2013-12-20.