For the first time, HPK Hämeenlinna will represent Finland’s colors at the 91st Spengler Cup.

 

The Finnish team Hämeenlinnan Pallokerho HPK will celebrate its premiere at the Spengler Cup in Davos during the last week of the year. Under the motto “Hockey Playing Knights”, the ice-knights of the highest league in Finland will be the first Finnish Liiga team to return to the Swiss traditional tournament  in 12 years.

For the first time since 2004, a Finnish Liiga team will participate in the Spengler Cup during the last week of the year. The organizational committee is happy to welcome HPK from the city of Hämeenlinna to the historic tournament in Davos.

In 2014 and 2015, Jokerit Helsinki flew the Finnish colors at the Spengler Cup. However, this traditional club does not participate in the national championships, but have rather joined the Russian-influenced Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). The last time a team from the Finnish Liiga took part in the world-famous Davos tournament was in 2004 with IFK Helsinki. In the past, negotiations failed due to scheduling conflicts since the Finnish championships continue between Christmas and New Year’s.

The Finnish “Liiga” returns to Davos

2017 will mark the return of Finnish ice hockey to the Spengler Cup with HPK Hämeenlinna. In Finland, the team is generally referred to as HPK – fully written out they are Hämeenlinnan Palloherko. Hämeenlinna is a city with a population of approximately 45’000. It is located 100 kilometers north of Helsinki and is loved by tourists for its impressive castle “Häme”.

A young, hungry team

HPK concluded their regular season in 4th place and went on to lose the 7th game of the playoff quarter-finals 1:3 against JYP Jyväskylä.  With Niklas Hagman, who was a member of the HC Davos Swiss Champions in 2005, and Niko Kapanen, a player who during the lock-out season of 2004/2005 played with EV Zug, the Finnish team was driven by two seasoned and experienced players. Both players retired at the end of the season. As is usual among the majority of the Finnish teams, HPK relies on their exceptional training program for their young and up-coming players. The Spengler Cup is the ideal venue for their young players to gain international experience as well as the opportunity to showcase their talents in an international environment. Their most famous player is Janne Lahti who became World Champion with Finland in 2011.