Finland men's national ice hockey team
|Parts of this article (those related to Current roster) need to be updated. (August 2016)|
|Nickname(s)||Leijonat / Lejonen
|Association||Finnish Ice Hockey Association|
|General Manager||Jere Lehtinen|
|Head coach||Lauri Marjamäki|
|Most games||Raimo Helminen (331)|
|Most points||Raimo Helminen (207)|
|Current IIHF||3 1|
|Highest IIHF||2 (first in 2011)|
|Lowest IIHF||7 (2005)|
| Sweden 8–1 Finland
(Helsinki, Finland; 29 January 1928)
| Finland 20–1 Norway
(Hämeenlinna, Finland; 12 March 1947)
| Canada 24–0 Finland
(Oslo, Norway; 3 March 1958)
|IIHF World Championships|
|Appearances||56 (first in 1939)|
|Best result||Gold: 2 – 1995, 2011|
|Best result||Runner-up (2004)|
|Appearances||14 (first in 1952)|
|Medals|| 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 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.
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.
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 Tournament's best goaltender. 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. 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 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". 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 2nd with 3345 points in the IIHF World Ranking.
Head coach: Kari Jalonen
|1||G||Saros, JuuseJuuse Saros||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)||82 kg (181 lb)||April 19, 1995||Nashville Predators|
|2||D||Pokka, VilleVille Pokka||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)||89 kg (196 lb)||June 3, 1994||Chicago Blackhawks|
|4||D||Kivistö, TommiTommi Kivistö||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)||89 kg (196 lb)||June 7, 1991||Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg|
|5||D||Kukkonen, LasseLasse Kukkonen – A||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)||85 kg (187 lb)||September 18, 1981||Oulun Kärpät|
|6||D||Jaakola, TopiTopi Jaakola||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)||90 kg (200 lb)||November 15, 1983||Jokerit|
|7||D||Lindell, EsaEsa Lindell||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)||94 kg (207 lb)||May 23, 1994||Dallas Stars|
|9||F||Koivu, MikkoMikko Koivu – C||1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)||92 kg (203 lb)||March 12, 1983||Minnesota Wild|
|19||G||Koskinen, MikkoMikko Koskinen||2.00 m (6 ft 7 in)||87 kg (192 lb)||July 18, 1988||SKA Saint Petersburg|
|20||F||Aho, SebastianSebastian Aho||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)||80 kg (180 lb)||July 26, 1997||Oulun Kärpät|
|24||F||Lajunen, JaniJani Lajunen||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)||75 kg (165 lb)||June 16, 1990||Tappara|
|28||D||Salmela, AnssiAnssi Salmela||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)||86 kg (190 lb)||August 13, 1984||Brynäs IF|
|29||F||Laine, PatrikPatrik Laine||1.94 m (6 ft 4 in)||94 kg (207 lb)||April 19, 1998||Tappara|
|32||G||Bäckström, NiklasNiklas Bäckström||1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)||85 kg (187 lb)||February 13, 1978||Calgary Flames|
|36||F||Jokinen, JussiJussi Jokinen – A||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)||87 kg (192 lb)||April 1, 1983||Florida Panthers|
|37||F||Pyörälä, MikaMika Pyörälä||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)||81 kg (179 lb)||July 13, 1981||Oulun Kärpät|
|38||D||Hietanen, JuusoJuuso Hietanen||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)||85 kg (187 lb)||June 14, 1985||Dynamo Moscow|
|40||F||Koskiranta, JarnoJarno Koskiranta||1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)||89 kg (196 lb)||December 9, 1986||SKA Saint Petersburg|
|41||F||Pihlström, AnttiAntti Pihlström||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)||82 kg (181 lb)||October 22, 1984||CSKA Moscow|
|51||F||Sallinen, TomiTomi Sallinen||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)||80 kg (180 lb)||February 11, 1989||Djurgårdens IF|
|55||D||Ohtamaa, AtteAtte Ohtamaa||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)||92 kg (203 lb)||November 6, 1987||Jokerit|
|56||F||Pulkkinen, TeemuTeemu Pulkkinen||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)||90 kg (200 lb)||January 2, 1992||Detroit Red Wings|
|61||F||Barkov, AleksanderAleksander Barkov||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)||96 kg (212 lb)||September 2, 1995||Florida Panthers|
|64||F||Granlund, MikaelMikael Granlund||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)||83 kg (183 lb)||February 26, 1992||Minnesota Wild|
|71||F||Komarov, LeoLeo Komarov||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)||90 kg (200 lb)||January 23, 1987||Toronto Maple Leafs|
|96||F||Rantanen, MikkoMikko Rantanen||1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)||98 kg (216 lb)||October 29, 1996||Colorado Avalanche|
The national team has retired Raimo Helminen's #14 and Jari Kurri's #17 jerseys. They currently hang in Hartwall Areena in Helsinki. Teemu Selänne's #8 was retired on December 30th, 2015 and Saku Koivu's #11, Jere Lehtinen's #26 and Ville Peltonen's #16 on December 26th, 2015.
List of head coaches
- "NHL announces World Cup of Hockey for 2016". The Canadian Press. 2015-01-24. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
- "Ice hockey: Selanne sets Olympic scoring record". Vancouver. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
- "Selanne's 37th point tops Games mark". ESPN.com. The 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. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- Aykroyd, Lucas (15 May 2011). "It's gold for Finland!". IIHF. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- 2016 roster
- "Selänteen Leijona-paita jäädytetään Nuorten MM-kisoissa" (in Finnish). Leijonat.fi. 2015-11-08. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
- "Koivun, Lehtisen ja Peltosen Leijona-paidat jäädytetään 26.12." (in Finnish). Leijonat.fi. 2015-11-30. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
- "Jalonen Leijonien seuraava päävalmentaja". mtv3.fi (in Finnish). 2013-06-07. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- "IS: Marjamäki on Leijonien uusi päävalmentaja". mtv3.fi (in Finnish). 2015-08-28. Retrieved August 28, 2015.