While the first semifinal game at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship ended up being won going away by Team USA, the second game provided a thrilling, overtime victory for Team Finland, and an agonizing loss for host team Switzerland as the Finns pulled out a 5-4 OT win at Brassard Arena in Zug, Switzerland. Read more»
The 2014-15 season has been a difficult one for Finland‘s U18 team. Both at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August and in the most recent Five Nations Tournament, the squad has been uncharacteristically charitable in giving up scoring opportunities and have left their goaltenders out to dry at times. Read more»
The trend of top junior talent heading to Canada has continued to skim some of the top talent from the junior level in Finland. In recent years that exodus has also seen players heading to the USHL. But with many of the top pro players heading to other leagues, some of the nation’s top draft-eligible prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft are gaining experience playing against men in the country’s top pro league, Liiga. Read more»
In part two of the 2014-15 Liiga preview, Hockey’s Future takes a look at the remaining teams from Finland‘s top hockey league not covered in part one. Included in the second part is Liiga newcomer Vaasa Sport, the team selected to replace arguably the league’s most heralded organization, Jokerit, who is now a part of Russia‘s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Read more»
Finland, the host team for the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, finished fifth in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament last summer despite winning three of the four games it played. With a number of key additions — particularly on defense — the U18 team competing in Imatra and Laapenranta should be stronger than the team that skated in Piestany, Slovakia.