Finland - Team Headlines

This speedy Finn likes to dominate in all areas of the game. At the 2003 WJC in Halifax, he has been one of the hardest-working players. by: Jen McCauley

1 JAN/03 - KARI LEHTONEN
30 DEC/02 -FAGERSTEDT'S PENALTY
26 DEC/02 -FINNISH PHENOM

Dec 26 GER 0 FIN 4
Dec 28 FIN 3 SWE 2
Dec 30 FIN 2 CZE 2
Dec 31 CAN 5 FIN 3
Jan 2 SVK 0 FIN 6
Jan 3 RUS 4 FIN 1

Pre-Comp. Results
Dec. 22/22 déc.

FIN 2 vs SUI 6

Dec. 23/23 déc.
CAN 6 vs FIN 3

Team Profile

Finland, which probably has the world’s most improved junior hockey program, has won two IIHF World Junior Championship gold medals since 1987.

The first was tainted slightly, won in 1987 when Canada was disqualified from the tournament after getting involved in a full-scale brawl with the Soviets in Piestany, Czechoslovakia. There were no clouds hanging over the second however, as the Finns beat Russia fair and square in the gold medal game on an overtime goal by Niklas Hagman in 1998.

Finland has a gold, silver and bronze medal to show for the last five WJC tournaments. Most scouts believe that on a per-capita basis, the Finns are turning out the best NHL prospects among all European countries. The population of the country is slightly more than five million.

Coach Erkka Westerlund, a former Director of Development for the Finnish Hockey Association, has had a lot to do with the restructuring of the training system for coaches in the country, which began in 1991. He’s currently Head of the Association of Finnish coaches.

North American teams frequently use the excellent facilities at the Finnish Olympic training site in Vierumaki as a base before participating in international tournaments in Europe.

In Kari Lehtonen, the Finns could have the best goaltender in the 2003 WJC competition in Nova Scotia. Lehtonen became the highest drafted European goalie in history when he was selected by the Atlanta Thrashers second overall in 2002, after being named best goalie in the 2002 WJC, when he had a brilliant 1.17 GAA and .943 save percentage.

Centre Jussi Jokinen, the team’s leading scorer last year in the Czech Republic, is back for the 2003 tournament. Jokinen contributed two goals and eight points to the Finns’ bronze medal effort.

Mikko Koivu, younger brother of Saku of the Montreal Canadiens, will be competing in his third World Junior Tournament. A 6-2, 183-pound centre, he is not as fast as his brother, but is very clever with the puck and has an excellent shot.

Also back and driving for gold is center Tuomo Ruutu, Chicago’s first choice (9th overall) in 2001. Ruutu, whose older brother Jarkko plays for the Vancouver Canucks, scored four goals for the Finns at last year’s tourney in the Czech Republic.

Defenseman Joni Pitkanen was selected fourth overall by the Philadelphia Flyers after making his WJC debut at the age of 17, while Sean Bergenheim, taken 22nd overall by the New York Islanders, scored eight goals and 12 points in eight games at the 2002 World Under-18 Championship.

Some NHL GM’s say Bergenheim was the fastest skater selected in the 2002 draft and has all the tools to become an excellent two-way forward in the NHL.

At the IIHF World Under-18 Championship, centre Valtteri Filppula had 10 points in eight games and won 60 per cent of his faceoffs before being selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the third round of the NHL draft in June.

Finland scored a decisive 4-1 win over Canada last year, outshooting the Canadians by a margin of 43-28. The Finns will be quick and aggressive.


No
Name
Nom
Date of Birth
Naissance
Position
L/R
G/D
Height
Hauteur
Weight
Poids
Club
ƒquipe
1
LEHTONEN Kari
16.11.83
GK
L
191
84
Jokerit Helsinki
2
TIMONEN Jussi
29.06.83
D
L
184
95
TPS Turku
3
JAAKOLA Topi
15.11.83
D
L
186
85
Karpat Oulu
4
PITKANEN Joni
19.09.83
D
L
101
94
Karpat Oulu
5
KALTEVA Mikko
25.05.84
D
L
191
85
Jokerit Helsinki
8
NIINIMAKI Jesse
19.08.83
F
L
190
84
Ilves Tampere
10
BERGENHEIM Sean
08.02.84
F
L
181
87
Jokerit Helsinki
12
FILPPULA Valtteri
20.03.84
F
L
181
78
Jokerit Helsinki
13
AHO Matti
28.01.83
F
L
177
80
TPS Turku
14
MAKI Tomi
19.08.83
F
L
181
81
Jokerit Helsinki
15
RUUTU Tuomo
16.02.83
F
L
185
92
HIFK Helsinki
17
JUNTUNEN Henrik
24.04.83
F
L
188
84
Karpat Oulu
18
NAATATNEN Matti
17.07.83
F
R
179
76
Blues Espoo
19
JAASKELAINEN Teemu
07.06.83
D
L
185
92
Ilves Tampere
20
JOKINEN Jussi
01.04.83
F
L
182
84
Karpat Oulu
21
LEHTISALO Juho
04.01.83
F
L
173
75
TPS Turku
22
SYKKO Tomi
21.01.83
F
L
180
80
Hermes HT Kokkola
23
MIKKONEN Tuomas
25.03.83
F
L
188
85
JYP Jyvaskyla
24
FAGERSTEDT Juha
15.04.83
F
L
183
80
HIFK Helsinki
25
IMMONEN Tuomas
16.05.83
F
L
183
80
HPK Hameenlinna
28
JALASVAARA Janne
15.04.84
D
L
181
82
Blues Espoo
30
NISSINEN Tuomas
17.07.83
GK
L
185
80
Ilves Tampere

Title   Name
Head Coach   WESTERLUND Erkka
Assistant Coach   DUFVA Risto
General Manager   BACKMAN Timo
Equipment Manager   BRUSIN Kari
Physiotherapist   LUOMA Jussi
Doctor   JARVELAINEN Vesa


FIN ALL-TIME RECORD
FICHE DE TOUS LES TEMPS DE FIN
YEAR GP W L T GF GA POS
ANNÉE PJ V D N BP PC RANG
2002 7 5 2 0 23 9 3rd / 3e
2001 7 5 2 0 22 10 2nd / 2e
2000 7 2 4 1 19 19 7th / 7e
1999 6 3 3 0 25 20 5th / 5e
1998 7 6 0 1 35 13 1st / 1er
1997 6 4 2 0 25 16 5th / 5e
1996 6 2 4 0 23 24 6th / 6e
1995 7 3 3 1 29 26 4th / 4e
1994 7 4 3 0 27 24 4th / 4e
1993 7 3 3 1 31 20 5th / 5e
1992 7 3 3 1 22 21 4th / 4e
1991 7 3 3 1 35 30 5th / 5e
1990 7 4 2 1 32 21 4th / 4e
1989 7 2 4 1 29 37 6th / 6e
1988 7 5 1 1 36 20 3rd / 3e
1987 7 5 1 1 45 23 1st / 1er
1986 7 3 4 0 31 23 6th / 6e
1985 7 4 1 2 42 20 4th / 4e
1984 7 6 1 0 44 21 2nd / 2e
1983 7 3 4 0 35 29 6th / 6e
1982 7 5 2 0 47 29 3rd / 3e
1981 5 3 1 1 29 18 2nd / 2e
1980 5 4 1 0 29 8 2nd / 2e
1979 6 2 4 0 20 19 4th / 4e
1978 6 3 2 1 45 25 6th / 6e
1977 7 4 3 0 35 29 4th / 4e
1976 4 1 3 0 12 14 4th / 4e
1975 5 1 3 1 10 14 5th / 5e
1974 5 3 2 0 21 23 2nd / 2e
TOTAL 187 101 71 15 858 605  

 

For more information:
André Brin Director, Communications | Directeur, communications