Tappara

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Tampereen Tappara
Logo of Tappara.svg
City Tampere, Finland
League Liiga
Founded 1955
Colours Blue, orange, white
              
Owner(s) Tappara Oy
General manager Finland Mikko Leinonen
Head coach Finland Jussi Tapola
Captain Finland Jukka Peltola
Website tappara.fi

Tappara (Finnish for "Battle axe", Finnish pronunciation: [ˈtɑpːɑrɑ]) is a Finnish ice hockey team playing in the Liiga. They play at Tampereen jäähalli in Tampere, Finland. The team has won 16 Finnish league championships (1953, 1954, 1955, 1959, 1961, 1964, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 2003, and 2016).[1]

Team history[edit]

Early days[edit]

TBK squad in 1945

The team currently known as Tappara was established in 1932 as Tammerfors Bollklubb (TBK). The team then consisted of players from the Swedish school in Tampere. The first official game was played in 1934. The team was promoted to the Finnish premier league for the first time for the 1942–43 season, and the team's first win was gained against Tarmo Hämeenlinna in January 1943. In 1946, the team won its first medal, bronze medal, as it finished third in the league, despite losing 19–4 to local rivals Ilves, which ended up as the champions.

The first period of success (1953–1964)[edit]

Tappara championship squad in 1961

The first notable period of success took place in early 50's, as TBK won three consecutive national championships in 1953–1955. In 1955, the team changed its original Swedish name to the Finnish Tappara in order to attract Finnish-speaking players. After that, the team went on to win three further championships (1959, 1961, and 1964), three second places (1958, 1960, and 1963), and three third places (1956, 1957, and 1962) in just nine years. Their winning streak was followed by a more silent period, with Tappara even playing one season (1965–1966) at the second highest level, gaining immediate promotion back to the top flight. A new arena "Tampereen jäähalli" was built in Hakametsä, Tampere to host the 1965 world championships. After the games the venue became the home arena of Tappara and their local rivals, Ilves and Koo-Vee and Tappara still play their home games there today.

The second period of success (1975–1988)[edit]

Tappara fans had to wait until the mid-seventies until Tappara started to be successful again, thanks to some legendary players such as the goalkeeper Antti Leppänen and the defender Pekka Marjamäki. The bronze medals in 1973 and silver medals in 1974 were followed by the Finnish championship in 1975. This time, the successful period was even longer than the first period of glory in the 50's and early sixties. Tappara also won the Finnish championships in 1977, 1979, 1982, 1984, and the long streak ended by winning three consecutive championships in 1986–1988. Many fans regard the Tappara team of the late 1980s – coached by Rauno Korpi – as their strongest of all time. Behind the senior players such as Timo Susi and Erkki Lehtonen, the likes of Teppo Numminen (a long-term defender in NHL) and Janne Ojanen (Tappara icon) led the way as new talented youngsters. In 1988, the Finland national team gained its first success by winning the Olympic silver medal in Calgary, and Tappara players formed a substantial part of the Finnish team. Tappara players, Erkki Lehtonen and Janne Ojanen, were the goal scorers for Finland in a decisive win against Soviet Union.

The recent days[edit]

During the 1990s, Tappara did not gain any notable success besides finishing third in the league in spring 1990. In 1992, the once so mighty team even had to fight for its place at the top level in relegation playoffs against Oulun Kärpät. A glimpse of glory was, however, achieved on international level, as Tappara player Timo Jutila captained the Finnish national team to win the ice hockey world championship in 1995. In the early 2000s, Tappara played some good seasons, winning silver medals in both 2001 and 2002. In 2003 – to the surprise of many – Tappara won the Finnish championships, coached by Jukka Rautakorpi. After that, Tappara reached 3rd place in the premier league in 2008 and second place three seasons in row from 2013 to 2015. In 2016, Tappara won the championships after beating HIFK in the finals.[1]

Current roster[edit]

Updated February 25, 2017.[2]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
14 Slovakia Bodák, MartinMartin Bodák D R 18 2017 Spišská Nová Ves, Slovakia
47 Norway Bonsaksen, AlexanderAlexander Bonsaksen D L 30 2014 Oslo, Norway
23 Finland Elorinne, AleksiAleksi Elorinne D L 27 2014 Joensuu, Finland
25 Finland Haapala, HenrikHenrik Haapala W L 23 2011 Lempäälä, Finland
51 Finland Heikkilä, MiikaMiika Heikkilä W R 25 2015 Loppi, Finland
30 Finland Heljanko, ChristianChristian Heljanko G L 19 2016 Porvoo, Finland
15 Finland Honkanen, ManuManu Honkanen W L 20 2015 Turku, Finland
1 Czech Republic Hrachovina, DominikDominik Hrachovina G L 22 2012 Brno, Czech Republic
61 Finland Jasu, JuhaniJuhani Jasu C R 29 2016 Eurajoki, Finland
44 Finland Järvinen, Jan-MikaelJan-Mikael Järvinen C L 29 2011 Pirkkala, Finland
26 Finland Karjalainen, JereJere Karjalainen W R 24 2014 Helsinki, Finland
13 Finland Kemiläinen, ValtteriValtteri Kemiläinen D R 25 2016 Jyväskylä, Finland
71 Finland Kuusela, KristianKristian Kuusela W R 34 2017 Seinäjoki, Finland
24 Finland Lajunen, JaniJani Lajunen C L 26 2015 Espoo, Finland
35 Finland Lassila, TeemuTeemu Lassila G L 33 2016 Helsinki, Finland
67 Finland Levtchi, AntonAnton Levtchi W L 21 2015 Varkaus, Finland
68 Finland Luoto, JoonaJoona Luoto W L 19 2016 Tampere, Finland
17 Finland Nurmi, TeemuTeemu Nurmi W R 32 2016 Tampere, Finland
55 Canada Parlett, BlakeBlake Parlett D R 27 2017 Bracebridge, Canada
81 Finland Peltola, JukkaJukka Peltola W L 29 2006 Tampere, Finland
87 Finland Peltonen, TomiTomi Peltonen C L 30 2016 Tampere, Finland
52 Finland Rantakari, OtsoOtso Rantakari D R 23 2016 Helsinki, Finland
42 Finland Rauhala, OttoOtto Rauhala C L 21 2014 Ylöjärvi, Finland
92 Finland Repo, SebastianSebastian Repo W R 20 2016 Lahti, Finland
5 Finland Rouhiainen, JereJere Rouhiainen D L 21 2015 Tampere, Finland
27 Norway Røymark, MartinMartin Røymark W L 30 2016 Oslo, Norway
9 Finland Salonen, AleksiAleksi Salonen D R 24 2016 Muurame, Finland
74 Finland Sammalkangas, TapioTapio Sammalkangas D L 37 2016 Tampere, Finland
6 Finland Saravo, PekkaPekka Saravo D L 37 2009 Rovaniemi, Finland
19 Finland Savinainen, Veli-MattiVeli-Matti Savinainen W L 31 2015 Espoo, Finland


Notable players[edit]


Retired numbers[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Trivia[edit]

The goal song of the team has been "Live Is Life" by Opus since the 1980s.

The anthem of Tappara is "Tappara on Terästä" Written in 1976. Which was recorded by Juha Vainio

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Tampereella juhlitaan – Tappara on Suomen mestari!". Ilta-Sanomat. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "Joukkue (Tappara)" (in Finnish). www.tappara.fi. Retrieved 2016-10-14. 

External links[edit]