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Milestones of Finnish Ice Hockey


1899 The first hockey game is played in Helsinki on Pohjoisranta (the Baltic Sea).

1908 First ever Finnish born player Toivo Robert Tikkanen skates with Akademischer Sport Club Dresden in Germany.  He is considered as one of the best players in the team from 1908 to 1911. Tikkanen receives the player of the game award in 1909 in a game vs. Brussels won by Dresden by the score of 5-3 in Berlin International Tournament. Later Tikkanen participates to 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games winning one silver and two bronze medals in shooting.

1910 Johan Ollus, born in Voyri, Finland,begins his studies in Berlin and joins the famous Berliner Schlittshuhclub. Johan Ollus wins two Championat de la Ligue International de Hockey sur Glace LIHG (IIHF) titles and is considered as good goal scorer and excellent playmaker.

1912 Johan Ollus (Berliner Schlittschuhclub) wins LIHG championship in Brussels, Belgium.

1913 Verner Bjork joins Club de Patineurs de Paris in France and Walter Horn SC Charlottenburg in Berlin, Germany. Walter Horn receives credit from his fast skating ability. Johan Ollus (BSC) captures his second LIHG title in Chamonix, France.

1927 The Finnish Skating Association introduces ice hockey as part of its program.

1928 The first club game is played in Tampere on Jan. 15: Pyrintö vs. Palloilijat. Reipas from Viipuri became the first national champion in ice hockey by winning over KIF with 5-1 in a six team tournament hosted by The Finnish Football Association. First national team game: Finland vs. Sweden 1-8. Through The Finnish Skating Association Finland was approved as a member of LIHG (Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace).

1929 The Finnish Ice Hockey Association is founded on Jan. 20 and features 17 clubs. HJK Helsinki wins the first championship.

1933 Finland plays its first international game abroad, losing to Sweden 11-1.

1937 The Finnish National Team records its first international win: 2-1 vs. Estonia.

1939 Finland makes its debut at the World Championships in Basel, posting an 0-5-0 record to finish 13th.

1948 The Finnish national team jersey adapts the lion symbol to the chest for the first time.

1949 Finland posts its first wins at the World Championships, 7-3 over Norway and 17-2 vs. Belgium.

1952 Finland finished 7th in its first Olympics in Oslo.

1954 Finland hosts a 25th Anniversary Tournament of The Finnish Ice Hockey Association. The Soviet Union plays its first national team game ever in that tournament (vs. Finland in Tampere).

1956 The country’s first artificial rink opens in Tampere on Nov. 22.

1959 Finland defeats arch rival Sweden for the first time, 4-1. The country receives its first radio transmission from a IIHF World Championship game (from Prague).

1961 The IIHF World Championships are broadcast on television in Finland for the first time.

1962 Finland gains its first medal in IIHF championship: a silver medal at European Championships.

1965 Finland hosts the IIHF World Championships for the first time.  Hakametsa Arena in Tampere opens as first indoor ice rink ever in Finland.  

1967 Finland beats one of the top four nations for the first time at the IIHF World Championship by winning Czechoslovakia with a score of 3-1.

1968 Finland gains sensational victory over Canada with a score of 5-2 at 1968 Olympic Winter Games in Grenoble.

1974 Finland wins its first medal (silver) at the unofficial IIHF World Junior Championships.  The 41st IIHF World Championship opens in Helsinki, Finland.  Veli-Pekka Ketola and Heikki Riihiranta join Winnipeg Jets at World Hockey Association WHA.

1975 The Finnish Ice Hockey League (SM-Liiga) is founded.

1976 Matti Hagman skates as the first Finnish trained player at the National Hockey League. Hagman joins the Boston Bruins.  

1978 The Finnish Under-18 Team wins the European Championships for the first time on an overtime goal by Jari Kurri.

1979 The Finish Hockey Hall and Fame and Museum is founded in Tampere by Harry Lindblad, Juhani Linkosuo, Aarne Honkavaara, Usko Teromaa, Kalervo Kummola and Kimmo Leinonen.

1980 Finland captures the silver at the IIHF World U20 Championship.

1981 Finland renews its silver at IIHF World U20 Championship in Germany.

1982 Defenseman Pekka Rautakallio (Calgary Flames) becomes first Finnish player to play in a NHL All-Star game. Finlandcaptures bronze medal at IIHF World U20 Championship. Helsinki and Tampere host the 48th IIHF World Championship.

1983 The Finnish Women championship league is started.

1984 Finland wins silver at IIHF World U20 Championship in Sweden.  Jari Kurri, Edmonton Oilers, wins the Stanley Cup as first Finnish player.

1985 Jarri Kurri and Esa Tikkanen capture the Stanley Cup with Edmonton Oilers.  NHL Writers Association selects Jarri Kurri as winner of the Lady Byng Trophy as the player with best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct In the NHL.  The Finnish Ice Hockey Museum organises the inaugural induction of Finnish Hall of Fame members.

1986 Finland wins the IIHF U18 European Championship title in Germany.

1987 Finland wins the IIHF World U20 Championships for the first time in Czechoslovakia. Jari Kurri, Esa Tikkanen and Reijo Ruotsalainen with Edmonton Oilers, win the Stanley Cup.

1988 Finland wins a silver medal at the Olympics in Calgary, which is the first ever Olympic medal for Finland. Jari Kurri and Esa Tikkanen again win the Stanley Cup with Edmonton Oilers.

1989 Finland captures the gold medal in the inaugural IIHF European Women Championship.

1990 Finland wins the bronze medal at the inaugural IIHF Women World Championship in Ottawa.  Jari Kurri, Esa Tikkanen and Reijo Ruotsalainen became Stanley Cup champions with Edmonton Oilers.

1991 Finland captures the third place at Canada Cup.  At the IIHF European Women Championship Finland defends its gold medal. The 55th IIHF World Championship is organised in Turku, Helsinki and Tampere.

1992 Finland wins its first medal (silver) at the IIHF World Championships in Prague. In Tampere,Finland wins another bronze at the IIHF World Women Championship.

1993 Finland Hockey Pool founded. Finlandwins its third straight gold medal at the IIHF  European Women Championship.  Teemu Selanne, Winnipeg Jets, breaks the NHL rookie record in goals and points with 76+56=132 and wins the Calder Trophy as the Rookie of the Year in the NHL. Jari Kurri becomes the first European player to score 500 regular season goals and 100 NHL playoff game goals.

1994 The 100th indoor ice rink in Finland is constructed and, for the first time, more than 3 million spectators watch league games across the country. Finlandwins the bronze medal at the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer and silver medal at the IIHF World Championship in Milan.  Finland wins bronze at the IIHF World Women Championship. Esa Tikkanen, New York Rangers, wins the Stanley Cup.

1995 Finland wins its first gold medal at the World Championships with a 4-1 win over Sweden in Stockholm with Ville Peltonen scoring three goals and one assist. Finland captures its fourth straight gold medal at the IIHF European Women Championship.  Finland wins also the IIHF European U18 Championship.

1996 Finland wins the bronze medal at the IIHF European Women Championship. Finalnd wins the silver medal at the IIHF European U18 Championship in Russia. Jari Kurri scores his 600th NHL goal as first European trained player.

1997 Team Finland wins the first four nations (Finland, Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic) Euro Hockey Tour. The Finnish Under-18 Team wins the European Championships for the fourth time. Finlandwins the bronze medal at the IIHF World Women Championship.  Helsinki, Tampere and Turku host the 61st IIHF World Championship.  Urpo Ylonen is inducted to the IIHF hall of Fame in its inaugural induction ceremony.

1998 Second IIHF World Championship title for the Finnish U20 National team in Helsinki. Olympic bronze medals for Finnish men’s and women’s national teams in Nagano, Japan. Finlandwins the silver medal at the IIHF World Championship in Zurich and IIHF European U18 Championship in Sweden. Finland wins the IIHF World U20 Championship in Helsinki.  Jere Lehtinen, Dallas Stars, wins Frank J Selke Trophy in the NHL as best defensive forward. Pekka Marjamaki is inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame.

1999 The Finnish Under-18 Team wins the first ever World Championship title in Füssen, Germany. Team Finland wins for the first time gold medals at the European Youth Olympic Days. Finlandwins the silver medal at the IIHF World Championship in Norway.  Finland wins the bronze medal at the IIHF World Women Championship. Jere Lehtinen, Dallas Stars, wins the Stanley Cup in the NHL, and he wins the Frank J Selke Trophy second year in a row. Saku Koivu is nominated as captain of the famous Montreal Canadiens. Harry Lindblad, Lasse Oksanen and Jorma Valtonen are inducted to the IIIHF Hall of Fame.

2000 Team Finland wins the four nations Euro Hockey Tour for the second time. The Finnish U18 Team wins the IIHF World Championship title for the second time in Kloten, Switzerland. Alpo Suhonen signes a contract with the Chicago Blackhawks as the first European head coach in the NHL. Finland captures the bronze medal at the IIHF World Women Championship for the sixth straight time. Finland wins the IIHF World Inline Hockey Championship. Jari Kurri and Goran Stubb are inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame.

2001 Finland wins the Euro Hockey Tour for the third time and silver in IIHF World Championships for the fifth time. Finlandwins the silver medal at the IIHF World U20 Championship in Moscow.  Finland defends its IIHF World Inline Hockey Championship in Florida. Lahti and Heinola host the IIHF World U18 Championship, where Finland wins the bronze medal. Ville Nieminen, Colorado Avalanche, wins the Stanley Cup.  Jari Kurri is inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada.

2002 Finland is the winner of the Euro Hockey Tour for the fourth time. Raimo Helminen writes ice hockey history by participating to his sixth Olympic Winter Games and breaking the world record of most national team games played with his 325th appearance for Finland. Matti Keinonen is inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame.

2003 The IIHF World Championship is played in Finland for the sixth time, the hosting cities are Helsinki, Turku and Tampere, with 454 000 spectators attending the games. Finland wins the Euro Hockey Tour for the fifth time and Baltika Cup for the first time. Finlandis awarded with the bronze medal at the IIHF Wold U20 Championship. Jere Lehtinen, Dallas Stars, wins the Frank J Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL. Unto Wiitala and Timo Jutila are inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame.

2004 Finland wins the Euro Hockey Tour for the sixth time. Finland reaches the final of World Cup of Hockey, but Canada wins the gold medal game in Toronto with the sore of 3-2. Finland wins the bronze medal at the IIHF World Women Championship. Helsinki and Hameenlinna host the IIHF World U20 Championship, where Finland reaches the bronze medal.

2006 Finland goes undefeated all the way to the final of Olympic Winter Games in Turin, but has to settle for silver after losing the deciding game versus Sweden 3-2. Finland wins bronze at the IIHF World Championships in Riga after beating Canada 5-0. Finlandwins silver at the IIHF U18 and bronze at the IIHF U20 championships. Teemu Selanne wins the Bill Masterton Trophy as a player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey in the NHL. Teppo Numminen overtakes Jari Kurri as most regular season games played in the NHL by a European player.  Juhani Wahlsten is inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame.

2007 Finland captures the silver medal at the IIHF World Championship in Moscow. Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks, wins the Stanley Cup. Esa Peltonen is inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame.

2008 Finland wins the bronze medal at the IIHF World Championship in Quebec. Finland wins the United Staes for the first time at the IIHF World Women Championship but after losing to Canada, Finland plays the bronze medal game and beats Switzerland. Valtteri Filppula, Detroit Red Wings, wins the Stanley Cup as the seventh Finnish player.

2009 Finland wins the bronze medal at the IIHF World Women Championship played in Hämeenlinna, Finland. Jenni Hiirikoski is nominated as the Best Defenseman of the tournament. In the IIHF U18 Championship Toni Rajala is the overall tournament scoring leader with 19 points in six games, which is a new scoring record.

2010 Finland wins two bronze medals in the Vancover Olympic Winter Games as both men and women finish third in ice hockey. Finland wins silver also at the IIHF U18 Championships in Belarus. Finland wins the Euro Hockey Tour for the seventh time. In the 2010 World Championship in Germany, Petteri Nummelin is nominated as the Best Defenseman of the tournament as well as voted into the All-Star Team for the fifth time. Riikka Nieminen-Välilä is the Nieminen is the first European woman to be inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame. Antti Niemi (Chicago Blackhawks) becomes the first Finnish goaltender to win Stanley Cup.

2011 The Finnish men's team wins its second world championship as they beat arch-rival Sweden in the final game 6-1. Jarkko Immonen finishes with the most goals and points in the tournament with nine goals and three assists. The women's team wins bronze in Switzerland as they beat Russia with Karoliina Rantamäki's overtime goal. The under-18 women's team wins bronze beating the Czech Republic 3-0. Tuukka Rask brings the NHL's Stanley Cup to Finland after the Boston Bruins win hand the Vancouver Canucks their second Stanley Cup Finals loss.

2012 The 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships in Helsinki ends with dominant Russia beating Slovakia in the final by a score of 6-2. Tournament hosts Finland and Sweden are both left without medals. Finland lost in the bronze game to Czech Republic, who knocked out Sweden in the quarter final phase. The women's team ends their World Championship tournament in Burlington, VT, USA in a bitter defeat to the Swiss in the bronze medal game. The Young Lions also finished the U20 World Championships without bronze medals as host Canada beat Finland 4-0. The under-18 boys were also beat in the bronze game as Canada grabbed thrid place in front of them. The under-18 girls ended their own World Championship tournament on a high-note with a win against Czech Republic in the placement game for fifth place. The inline ice hockey team brings home the lone medals of the season as they beat Slovenia in the battle for the bronze.

2013 Finland and USA play in the bronze medal game, in which USA defeats the Lions in a shootout by 2-3. After the World Championship, Jukka Jalonen steps down and Erkka Westerlund takes over as the head coach of the Men's Team. Women are as well defeated in the bronze medal game of the World Championship tournament, Russia twins bronze medals by 2-0. For Young Lions the World Championship tournament turns into dissappointment, Finnish U20 team ends in relegation round. Under-18 boys win bronze medals by defeating host country Russia in their World Championship tournament. Under 18-girls finish fifth in their home tournament played in Heinola and Vierumäki. Inline Lions are defeated by Slovakia in the quarterfinals of the World Championship tournament.

2014 Finland gets a flying start for the Olympic year - Young Lions win the World Championship title in Malmö by defeating host country Sweden on their home ice. In Sochi Olympics Men win bronze medals, Women finish the tournament on the 5th place. Also the under 18-girls finish fifth in the World Championship tournament. U18 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship is organized in Finland, in cities of Lappeenranta and Imatra. For the home team the tournament ends with dissappointment - Finland is 6th. Men win the EHT title as well as silver medals from the Minsk World Championship tournament. After the tournament, Kari Jalonen takes up the position of the Head Coach of the Finnish National Team. Inline Lions win gold medals in the last IIHF World Championship tournament of hockey season 2013-14.

2015 Finnish U20 team travels to the World Junior Championship as defending World Champions, however this time Young Lions are out of the tournament in quarter finals. Same happens to the Men’s Team at the World Championship in Czech Republic. Women win bronze - their first medal since 2011 – at the World Women Championship in Sweden. Also the U18 boys came back home from the U18 World Championship tournament with medals around their necks: defeated by the US in the final Finland takes silver. Another set of silver medals is won by Inline Lions, who although defeated by team Canada in the final, enjoyed full support from the home crowd at the Tampere Inline World Championship. Oulun Kärpät wins National League and Jukurit from Mikkeli are the first division (Mestis) champions.

2016: Finnish U20 team wins gold medal of World Junior Championships on home ice. This was Finland’s fourth World Junior gold medal of all time. Kasperi Kapanen scored a game winning goal at the overtime against Russia. Also in january Harri Nummela takes up the position of the Chairman of the Finnish Ice Hockey Association. In april Finland beats Sweden 6-1 to win the gold medal at the 2016 U18 World Championship in Grand Forks USA. Finnish National Team captures the silver medal at the World Championship in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Tampereen Tappara wins National League and Mikkelin Jukurit are the first division (Mestis) champions.

 

 

 

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