Finland men's national ice hockey team
|Nickname(s)||Leijonat / Lejonen|
|Association||Finnish Ice Hockey Association|
|Head coach||Jukka Jalonen|
|Most games||Raimo Helminen (331)|
|Most points||Raimo Helminen (207)|
|Current IIHF||1 1 (30 March 2022)|
|Highest IIHF||1 (2022)|
|Lowest IIHF||7 (2005)|
|Finland 1–8 Sweden|
(Helsinki, Finland; 29 January 1928)
Finland 2–1 Estonia
(Helsinki, Finland; 20 February 1937)
|Finland 20–1 Norway|
(Hämeenlinna, Finland; 12 March 1947)
|Canada 24–0 Finland|
(Oslo, Norway; 3 March 1958)
|IIHF World Championships|
|Appearances||64 (first in 1939)|
|Best result||Gold: (1995, 2011, 2019)|
|World Cup / Canada Cup|
|Appearances||7 (first in 1976)|
|Best result||2nd: (2004)|
|Appearances||18 (first in 1952)|
|Medals|| Gold: (2022)|
Silver: (1988, 2006)
Bronze: (1994, 1998, 2010, 2014)
|International record (W–L–T)|
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 one of the most successful national ice hockey teams in the world and a member of the so-called "Big Six", the unofficial group of the six strongest men's ice hockey nations, along with Canada, United States, the Czech Republic, Russia and Sweden.
Finland won the world championship title in 2019, their third after 1995 and 2011. A duo of silver medals (1988, 2006) remained the country's best Olympic results until winning gold in 2022. At the Canada/World Cup, their best achievement is also a silver medal which they won in 2004. The Finns achieved a breakthrough in 2022, winning their first ever Olympic gold after defeating Russia.
Finland's first appearance in an elite ice hockey competition was at 1939 Ice Hockey World Championships in Switzerland. The result was shared last place with Yugoslavia. 10 years later, Finland came to 1949 Ice Hockey World Championships at Sweden. The Finns finished 7th place by winning the Consolation Round. Finland's first appearance at the Winter Olympics occurred in 1952 in Oslo.
In the 1974 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships two players were suspended for doping. They were the Swede Ulf Nilsson and the Finn Stig Wetzell who failed a drug test for the forbidden substance ephedrine. Both players were suspended for the rest of the tournament. Nilsson failed the test after Sweden's game against Poland, which Sweden won 4–1. The game was awarded to Poland as a 5–0 forfeit. The Finn, Wetzell, failed the test after Finland's match against Czechoslovakia, which Finland won 5–2, which was also awarded to Czechoslovakia as a 5–0 forfeit. The Finns were able to defeat Czechoslovakia again on the last day, which would have earned their first medal in history, if not for the points lost in the forfeited win.
Finland was close again to winning the first medal of its history in the 1986 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships, when it led 4–2 in the final minute of the medal round match against Sweden. However, in the last minute of the match Anders "Masken" Carlsson first narrowed the goal to the end and even leveled the match with the help of the Finns' mistake. The match finally ended in a 4–4 draw, Finland's ranking in the tournament was fourth place.
At the 1992 Men's Ice Hockey World Championships, Finland's success and silver medal came as a surprise to many Finns, as the team was not expected to much because of inexperience and the lack of success at the (1992 Albertville Winter Olympics) in the same year. The medal achieved in the tournament was the first World Championship medal and the second value medal after (1988 Calgary Winter Olympics).
In the 1995 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships, Finland achieved its first ever gold in international ice hockey. Finland reached the final with a 5–0 victory over France in the quarterfinals, and a 3–0 victory over the Czech Republic in the semi-finals. In the finals, the Finns faced off against their hockey rivals and host of the 1995 tournament, Sweden. In the first period of the final, left wing Ville Peltonen scored a natural hat trick, and then assisted on Timo Jutila's first period goal to give Finland a 4–0 lead, on the way to an eventual 4–1 victory.
At the 1998 Olympic men's ice hockey tournament, Team Finland came away with bronze, after defeating the 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 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.
At the 2006 Winter Olympics, Finland won a silver medal, coming close to winning in the final but losing 3–2 to Sweden. 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 the Canadian team. The final marked the second time that Finland and Canada met in the gold medal game 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. With only 3 minutes left Antti Miettinen scored to bring Finland within one, 3–2. However, just 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 Tournament's best goaltender.
At the 2008 IIHF World Championship, Finland achieved third place winning the bronze medal game 4–0 against rivals Sweden.
At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Finland came away with the bronze, winning 5–3 against Slovakia. During the tournament, Teemu Selänne became the all-time leader for points scored in the Olympics. 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.
At the 2011 IIHF World Championship, Finland won its second world title, 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". 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. 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 third (26 May 2019) in the IIHF World Ranking. The Finns won their third World Championship title at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia.
Canada Cup / World Cup
|1976||Lasse Heikkilä||Veli-Pekka Ketola||Round-robin||6th|
|1981||Kalevi Numminen||Veli-Pekka Ketola||Round-robin||6th|
|1987||Rauno Korpi||Jari Kurri||Round-robin||6th|
|1991||Pentti Matikainen||Jari Kurri||Semi-final|
|1996||4||2||–||0||–||2||17||16||Curt Lindström||Jari Kurri||Quarter-final||5th|
|2004||6||4||0||1||0||1||17||9||Raimo Summanen||Saku Koivu||Final|
|2016||3||0||0||–||0||3||1||9||Lauri Marjamäki||Mikko Koivu||Group stage||8th|
Euro Hockey Tour
- 1996–97 – Finished in
- 1997–98 – Finished in
- 1998–99 – Finished in
- 1999–00 – Finished in
- 2000–01 – Finished in
- 2001–02 – Finished in
- 2002–03 – Finished in
- 2003–04 – Finished in
- 2004–05 – Finished in
- 2005–06 – Finished in
- 2006–07 – Finished in 4th place
- 2007–08 – Finished in
- 2008–09 – Finished in
- 2009–10 – Finished in
- 2010–11 – Finished in
- 2011–12 – Finished in
- 2012–13 – Finished in
- 2013–14 – Finished in
- 2014–15 – Finished in
- 2015–16 – Finished in
- 2016–17 – Finished in
- 2017–18 – Finished in
- 2018–19 – Finished in
- 2019–20 – Finished in
- 2020–21 – Finished in 4th place
- 2021–22 – Finished in
EHT Medal table
- Karjala Tournament:
- Channel One Cup / Izvestia Trophy:
- Sweden Hockey Games:
- Czech Hockey Games:
Finland's Euro Hockey Tour (EHT) Cup medal table
As of the 2018 Channel One Cup:
|Channel One Cup||3||10||17||30|
|Sweden Hockey Games||7||3||7||17|
|Czech Hockey Games||6||7||5||18|
Euro Hockey Challenge
- Deutschland Cup: Gold medal (1990)
- Nissan Cup: Gold medal (1989, 1994)
- Spengler Cup: Silver medal (1975)
|2||D||Ville Pokka||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)||90 kg (200 lb)||3 June 1994||Avangard Omsk|
|3||D||Niklas Friman||1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)||94 kg (207 lb)||30 August 1993||HPK|
|4||D||Mikko Lehtonen||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)||89 kg (196 lb)||16 January 1994||SKA Saint Petersburg|
|10||F||Joel Armia||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)||90 kg (200 lb)||31 May 1993||Montréal Canadiens|
|12||F||Marko Anttila – A||2.03 m (6 ft 8 in)||108 kg (238 lb)||27 May 1985||Ilves|
|21||F||Jere Innala||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)||83 kg (183 lb)||17 March 1998||HIFK|
|24||F||Hannes Björninen||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)||89 kg (196 lb)||19 October 1995||Lahti Pelicans|
|25||F||Toni Rajala||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)||76 kg (168 lb)||29 March 1991||EHC Biel|
|29||G||Harri Säteri||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)||90 kg (200 lb)||29 December 1989||Arizona Coyotes|
|35||G||Frans Tuohimaa||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)||90 kg (200 lb)||19 August 1991||HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk|
|38||D||Juuso Hietanen||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)||83 kg (183 lb)||14 June 1985||HC Ambrì-Piotta|
|42||D||Sami Vatanen – A||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)||84 kg (185 lb)||3 June 1991||Genève-Servette HC|
|45||G||Juho Olkinuora||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)||91 kg (201 lb)||4 November 1990||Metallurg Magnitogorsk|
|50||D||Mikael Seppälä||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)||91 kg (201 lb)||8 March 1994||Tappara|
|51||F||Valtteri Filppula – C||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)||86 kg (190 lb)||20 March 1984||Genève-Servette HC|
|55||D||Atte Ohtamaa||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)||92 kg (203 lb)||6 November 1987||Oulun Kärpät|
|64||F||Mikael Granlund||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)||84 kg (185 lb)||26 February 1992||Nashville Predators|
|65||F||Sakari Manninen||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)||71 kg (157 lb)||10 February 1992||Salavat Yulaev Ufa|
|70||F||Teemu Hartikainen||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)||91 kg (201 lb)||3 May 1990||Salavat Yulaev Ufa|
|76||F||Jere Sallinen||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)||91 kg (201 lb)||26 October 1990||EHC Biel|
|80||F||Saku Mäenalanen||1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)||94 kg (207 lb)||29 May 1994||Oulun Kärpät|
|82||F||Harri Pesonen||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)||88 kg (194 lb)||6 August 1988||SCL Tigers|
|91||F||Juho Lammikko||1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)||91 kg (201 lb)||29 January 1996||Vancouver Canucks|
|No.||Player||Position||Career||Year of retirement|
- Keijo Kuusela 1948–1952
- Aarne Honkavaara 1948–1952
- Unto Wiitala 1949–1957
- Teppo Rastio 1954–1962
- Raimo Kilpiö 1957–1967
- Heino Pulli 1958–1965
- Matti Keinonen 1962–1973
- Urpo Ylönen 1963–1978
- Lasse Oksanen 1964–1977
- Lalli Partinen 1965–1973
- Esa Peltonen 1967–1980
- Veli-Pekka Ketola 1968–1981
- Heikki Riihiranta 1970–1976
- Juhani Tamminen 1970–1982
- Pekka Rautakallio 1972–1983
- Matti Hagman 1975–1987
- Reijo Ruotsalainen 1978–1989
- Kari Eloranta 1979–1992
- Jari Kurri 1979–1998
- Hannu Kamppuri 1981–1987
- Ilkka Sinisalo 1981–1983
- Petri Skriko 1982–1992
- Christian Ruuttu 1984–1996
- Timo Jutila 1983–1997
- Raimo Helminen 1983–2008
- Timo Blomqvist 1985–1992
- Jukka Tammi 1985–1998
- Esa Tikkanen 1985–2000
- Markus Ketterer 1987–1996
- Jarmo Myllys 1987–2001
- Janne Ojanen 1987–2002
- Teppo Numminen 1987–2006
- Jyrki Lumme 1988–2002
- Mika Nieminen 1991–1998
- Teemu Selänne 1991–2014
- Jere Lehtinen 1992–2010
- Saku Koivu 1993–2010
- Sami Kapanen 1994–2010
- Ville Peltonen 1994–2012
- Ari Sulander 1995–2003
- Janne Niinimaa 1995–2009
- Petteri Nummelin 1995–2010
- Kimmo Timonen 1996–2014
- Olli Jokinen 1997–2014
- Jarkko Ruutu 1998–2010
- Jere Karalahti 1998–2014
- Miikka Kiprusoff 1999–2010
- Sami Salo 2001–2014
- Niklas Hagman 2002–2013
- Ville Nieminen 2002–2006
- Mikko Koivu 2003–2016
- Jussi Jokinen 2003–2021
- Tuomo Ruutu 2004–2015
- Pekka Rinne 2004–2016
- Tuukka Rask 2005–2016
- Antti Pihlström 2008–
- Leo Komarov 2009–
- Valtteri Filppula 2010–
- Mikael Granlund 2010–
- Teuvo Teräväinen 2012–
- Marko Anttila 2013–
- Aleksander Barkov Jr. 2013–
- Olli Määttä 2014–
- Erik Haula 2014–
- Juuse Saros 2014–
- Sebastian Aho 2015–
- Mikko Rantanen 2015–
- Patrik Laine 2016–
- Eeli Tolvanen 2018–
- Miro Heiskanen 2018–
- Kaapo Kakko 2019–
- Anton Lundell 2021–
List of head coaches
- Erkki Saarinen 1939–1941
- Risto Lindroos 1945–1946
- Henry Kvist 1946–1949
- Risto Lindroos 1950–1954
- Aarne Honkavaara 1954–1959
- Joe Wirkkunen 1959–1960
- Derek Holmes 1960–1961
- Joe Wirkkunen 1961–1966
- Augustin "Gustav" Bubník 1966–1969
- Seppo Liitsola 1969–1972
- Len Lunde 1972–1973
- Kalevi Numminen 1973–1974
- Seppo Liitsola 1974–1976
- Lasse Heikkilä 1976–1977
- Kalevi Numminen 1977–1982
- Alpo Suhonen 1982–1986
- Rauno Korpi 1986–1987
- Pentti Matikainen 1987–1993
- Curt Lindström 1993–1997
- Hannu Aravirta 1997–2003
- Raimo Summanen 2003–2004
- Erkka Westerlund 2004–2007
- Doug Shedden 2007–2008
- Jukka Jalonen 2008–2013
- Erkka Westerlund 2013–2014
- Kari Jalonen 2014–2016
- Lauri Marjamäki 2016–18
- Jukka Jalonen 2018–
- "IIHF Men's World Ranking". IIHF. 30 March 2022. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
- "Ice hockey: Selanne sets Olympic scoring record". Vancouver. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
- "Selanne's 37th point tops Games mark". ESPN. Associated Press. 20 February 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- Anrell, Lasse (14 May 2011). "Drömfinal". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- "Jääkiekossa unelmafinaali Leijonat–Tre Kronor". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Sanoma. 13 May 2011. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- Aykroyd, Lucas (15 May 2011). "It's gold for Finland!". IIHF. Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- Blinder, Alan (19 February 2022). "Finland beats Russia, 2-1, for the gold in men's hockey". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
- Ellis, Steven (20 February 2022). "Finland Defeats ROC to Win Men's Olympic Hockey Gold". The Hockey News. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
- "Finland claims first-ever hockey gold at Beijing Olympics". Yle News. 20 February 2022. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
- "Leijonien ryhmä tiivistyi – Ensimmäiset MM-kisapassit leimataan torstaina" (in Finnish). leijonat.fi. 8 May 2022.
- "Team Roster Finland" (PDF). iihf.com. 15 May 2021.
- "Jalonen Leijonien seuraava päävalmentaja". mtv3.fi (in Finnish). 7 June 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- "IS: Marjamäki on Leijonien uusi päävalmentaja". mtv3.fi (in Finnish). 28 August 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
- "Jukka Jalonen palaa Leijonien päävalmentajaksi". iltalehti.fi (in Finnish). 4 October 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2018.