2020–21 Naisten Liiga season

The 2020–21 Naisten Liiga season was the thirty-eighth season of the Naisten Liiga, Finland's elite women's ice hockey league, since the league’s creation in 1982. The season began, as scheduled, on 5 September 2020, making the Naisten Liiga the first women's national ice hockey league in Europe and, quite likely, in the world to return to play for the 2020–21 season.

2020–21 Naisten Liiga season
LeagueNaisten Liiga
SportIce hockey
DurationPreliminaries
5 September – 29 November
Regular season
8 January – 28 February
Playoffs
3 March – 25 March
Number of games25–29
Number of teams11 in Preliminary series
6 in Regular season, 6 in Lower division series
TV partner(s)Ruutu+
Regular Season
Season championsKiekko-Espoo
  Runners-upKalPa Kuopio
Season MVPElisa Holopainen (KalPa)
Top scorerMichaela Pejzlová (HIFK)
Promoted to Lower division seriesJYP Jyväskylä
Relegated to 2021–22 Naisten MestisJYP Jyväskylä
Lukko Rauma
Aurora Borealis Cup Playoffs
Aurora Borealis Cup Playoffs MVPTiia Pajarinen
Finals championsKiekko-Espoo
  Runners-upKalPa Kuopio
Seasons

League businessEdit

Number of teamsEdit

When the 2019–20 Naisten Liiga season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league qualification series (Finnish: karsintasarja) had not been completed. At the time of cancellation, Lukko Naiset had amassed an unreachable points advantage and secured their place in the Naisten Liiga and APV Naiset had been mathematically relegated to the Naisten Mestis but it was still possible for either RoKi Naiset or TPS Naiset to qualify. Recognizing that it would be unfair to relegate either RoKi or TPS, the Finnish Ice Hockey Association announced that both teams would participate in the 2020–21 Naisten Liiga season, increasing the number of teams in the preliminary round from ten to eleven.[1]

League placement rankingsEdit

In an effort to account for expected cancellations of some matches due to COVID-19 safety protocols, the Finnish Ice Hockey Association announced league rankings would be determined by the average points per game of each team rather than the absolute point total traditionally used. For example, a team with two wins in two games played (6 points total, average 3.0) ranks higher in the league table than a team with four wins, one overtime loss, and one regulation loss (13 points total, average 2.17).[2]

Coaching changesEdit

Team 2019–20 2020–21 Details
Off–season
HPK Kiekkonaiset Katja Pasanen Mari Saarinen Pasanen was fired by GM Jorma Hassinen after HPK lost in the 2019–20 Naisten Liiga quarterfinals, despite having what Hassinen believed to be the fourth-best roster in team history. Saarinen was promoted from assistant coach to head coach shortly thereafter.[3] Saarinen retired from playing in 2012 and previously served as head coach of Ilves Naiset during the 2016–17 and 2017–18 seasons.[4]
Tampereen Ilves Naiset Ville Tolvanen Linda Välimäki Leppänen In February 2020, Ilves announced Välimäki Leppänen had signed as head coach of Ilves Naiset for the 2020–21 season. Välimäki Leppänen retired from playing in 2019 and served as director of Ilves' girls' hockey department for several years prior to her appointment as head coach of the women's team.[5]
Mid-season
Lukko Naiset Marko Toivonen Sami Piilikangas Toivonen resigned in late November and assistant coach Piilikangas assumed head coaching duties on 24 November.[6]
Vaasan Sport Naiset Marko Haapala Susanne Uppgård Health issues prompted Haapala to step away from his role as head coach and assistant coach Uppgård took his place on 1 December 2020.[7]
TPS Naiset Matti Tähkäpää Kai Ortio Tähkäpää was relieved and replaced by assistant coach Kai Ortio on 11 February 2021. At the time of the coaching change, TPS had five remaining games in the regular season and were guaranteed a playoff birth. Ortio previously served as head coach to men's junior teams of TUTO Hockey in the U18 Mestis and U20 Mestis.[8]

TeamsEdit

Location of teams in the Naisten Liiga
    : Upper division;  : Lower division
Team Location Home venue Head coach Captain
Stadin Gimmat
or HIFK Naiset
  Helsinki Helsingin jäähalli Saara Niemi Karoliina Rantamäki
HPK Kiekkonaiset   Hämeenlinna Metritriski Areena Mari Saarinen Riikka Noronen
Ilves Naiset   Tampere Tesoman jäähalli Linda Leppänen Anna Kilponen
KalPa Naiset   Kuopio Olvi Areena Marjo Voutilainen Emma Ritari
Kiekko-Espoo Naiset   Espoo Tapiolan harjoitussareena Sami Haapanen Annina Rajahuhta
Kärpät Naiset   Oulu Oulun Energia Areena Janne Salmela Suvi Käyhkö
Lukko Naiset   Rauma Kivikylän Areena Sami Piilikangas Maija Koski
RoKi Naiset   Rovaniemi Lappi Areena Tuomas Liitola Jenna Pirttijärvi
Sport Naiset   Vaasa Vaasan Sähkö Arena Susanne Uppgård Pauliina Suoniemi
Team Kuortane   Kuortane Kuortaneen jäähalli Mira Kuisma Anna-Lotta Räsänen
TPS Naiset   Turku Marli Areena Kai Ortio Elina Heikkinen
Team promoted from the Naisten Mestis to the lower division
JYP Naiset   Jyväskylä Jyväskylän harjoitusjäähall Joni Aho Zaida Holmström

Preliminary seriesEdit

The addition of another team necessitated slight modification of the season format introduced for the 2019–20 season. With eleven participating teams, the twenty-game preliminary series (Finnish: alkusarja) was played strictly as a double round-robin without the addition of the two extra Opening Weekend Tournament games typically needed. The preliminaries were scheduled to be played during 5 September to 13 December 2020.[1][9]

The season began as scheduled on 5 September 2020, making the Naisten Liiga the first women's national ice hockey league in Europe – and, quite possibly, in the world – to return to play for the 2020–21 season. The first game of the season saw Ilves Tampere beat TPS Turku 4–3 in overtime at Tesoman jäähalli.

On 1 December 2020, an emergency meeting of the Finnish Ice Hockey Association was held in response to a significant rise in cases and hospitalizations related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland during the preceding weeks. It was ultimately determined that all leagues under the Association’s administration would suspend play from 2 to 31 December 2020, including the Naisten Liiga.[10] The Naisten Liiga was expected to begin the regular season and lower division series in January, as outlined in the original season schedule, though the Finnish Ice Hockey Association expressed a desire to stage the games postponed during the period of suspended activity when play resumed.[11]

Later in December, it was decided that Naisten Liiga teams would not attempt to play the games missed during the pause and would instead proceed directly to the regular season. With this determination, 29 November 2020 retroactively became the last day of the preliminary series, as it was the last day in which Naisten Liiga games were contested before the suspension.

StandingsEdit

Kiekko-Espoo and KalPa, the two teams from the cancelled 2020 Aurora Borealis Cup final, continued to dominate the league in the preliminaries, ranking first and second at the conclusion of the series. Less expected were the third and fourth ranked teams, HIFK and TPS, which had both played in the lower division during the previous season and TPS had very nearly been eliminated in the 2020 qualifiers. Both teams were bolstered in the 2020–21 season by an influx of international talent.

Kiekko-Espoo were the regular season champions for the third consecutive season.

Pos Team Pld W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts Placement
1 Kiekko-Espoo 18 15 0 0 3 88 24 +64 45 Regular season
2 KalPa 18 14 1 0 3 94 34 +60 44
3 HIFK 19 11 4 0 4 77 42 +35 41
4 TPS 18 10 1 2 5 75 55 +20 34
5 Ilves 19 9 2 3 5 60 42 +18 34
6 HPK 19 10 1 2 6 62 48 +14 34
7 Team Kuortane 17 7 0 1 9 50 52 −2 22 Lower division
8 Kärpät 19 7 0 2 10 65 56 +9 23
9 RoKi 19 6 1 0 12 34 82 −48 20
10 Lukko 17 1 0 0 16 26 108 −82 3
11 Sport 17 0 0 0 17 16 104 −88 0
Updated to match(es) played on 29 November 2020. Source: Suomen Jääkiekkoliitto[12]

Official ranking

StatisticsEdit

Scoring leaders

The following players led the league in points at the conclusion of the preliminaries on 29 November 2020.[13]

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
1 Elisa Holopainen KalPa 18 32 22 54 4
2 Estelle Duvin TPS 18 18 22 40 51
3 Emmanuelle Passard HIFK 19 15 20 35 4
4 Matilda Nilsson KalPa 15 11 20 31 6
5 Nelli Laitinen K-Espoo 16 11 19 30 10
6 Jenna Suokko Ilves 19 17 11 28 20
7 Riikka Noronen HPK 19 9 18 27 6
8 Maija Otamo TPS 17 15 11 26 6
9 Clara Rozier HIFK 19 10 15 25 22
10 Annina Rajahuhta K-Espoo 17 12 12 24 16
11 Michaela Pejzlová HIFK 14 10 14 24 0

Leading goaltenders

The following goaltenders lead the league in save percentage at the conclusion of the preliminaries on 29 November 2020, while starting at least one third of matches.[14]

Player Team GP TOI W L SA GA SO SV% GA60
1 Minja Drufva K-Espoo 6 317:15 4 2 108 5 3 .956 0.95
2 Anni Keisala Ilves 14 849:58 8 4 450 27 2 .943 1.91
3 Tiina Ranne KalPa 9 543:33 7 1 226 16 2 .934 1.77
4 Salla Sivula HPK 8 480:59 5 3 245 18 0 .932 2.25
5 Aino Laitinen Kuortane 10 568:11 5 4 368 29 1 .927 3.06
6 Susanna Airaksinen KalPa 7 420:00 5 2 172 14 2 .925 2.00
7 Emilia Kyrkkö Kuortane 8 450:49 2 6 271 23 1 .922 3.06
8 Olivia Last RoKi 8 408:24 4 4 253 22 0 .920 3.23
9 Iina Kuusela HIFK 10 608:46 7 3 302 27 1 .918 2.66
10 Johanna Oksman Kärpät 12 721:12 4 8 355 32 1 .917 2.66
10 Meeri Räisänen HPK 8 484:45 3 4 244 22 0 .917 2.72

Regular seasonEdit

The ten-game Naisten Liiga regular season, also called the upper division series (Finnish: ylempi jatkosarja), is played by the six top-ranked teams from the preliminary series.

Following the December stoppage, play resumed on 8 January 2021. The decision was made to begin the regular season (upper and lower divisional series) rather than attempt to makeup the games missed during the pause, resulting in teams with seventeen to nineteen games played at the conclusion of the preliminaries. As the league had already adopted the use of points per game for league rankings, the impact of dropping the missed games on the remainder of the season was negligible.

StandingsEdit

Pos Team Pld W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts Postseason placement
1 Kiekko-Espoo 27 21 1 0 5 124 46 +78 65 Playoff quarterfinals
2 KalPa 25 18 1 0 6 121 51 +70 56
3 HIFK 27 16 4 1 6 104 59 +45 57
4 Ilves 28 12 3 5 8 83 66 +17 47
5 HPK 29 13 2 3 11 85 78 +7 46
6 TPS 27 11 2 2 12 91 97 −6 39
Updated to match(es) played on 27 February 2021. Source: Suomen Jääkiekkoliitto[15]

Official ranking

Pos Team PpG
1 K-Espoo 2.41
2 KalPa 2.24
3 HIFK 2.11
4 Ilves 1.68
5 HPK 1.59
6 TPS 1.44

StatisticsEdit

Scoring leaders

The following players led the league in points at the conclusion of the regular season on 28 February 2021.[16]

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
1 Michaela Pejzlová HIFK 8 7 6 13 0
2 Johanna Juutilainen KalPa 7 3 10 13 0
3 Matilda Nilsson KalPa 7 8 4 12 4
4 Emilia Vesa K-Espoo 8 7 4 11 2
5 Karoliina Rantamäki HIFK 8 3 8 11 0
6 Elisa Holopainen KalPa 7 7 3 10 6
7 Emilia Varpula Ilves 9 3 6 9 0
8 Jenna Suokko Ilves 9 5 3 8 8
9 Kiti Seikkula HPK 7 4 4 8 2
10 Helen Puputti Ilves 9 5 2 7 8
11 Tinja-Mariia Haukijärvi K-Espoo 9 4 3 7 2

Leading goaltenders

The following goaltenders lead the league in save percentage at the conclusion of the regular season on 27 February 2021, while starting at least one third of matches.[17]

Player Team GP TOI W L SA GA SO SV% GA60
1 Tiina Ranne KalPa 5 296:40 3 2 156 10 1 .940 2.02
2 Anni Keisala Ilves 8 485:54 3 3 293 19 0 .939 2.35
3 Meeri Räisänen HPK 5 304:20 1 3 218 16 0 .932 3.15
4 Iina Kuusela HIFK 5 298:34 3 2 133 10 1 .930 2.01
5 Salla Sivula HPK 5 304:12 2 2 168 13 0 .928 2.56
6 Isabella Laiho TPS 6 337:01 0 3 190 19 0 .909 3.38
7 Tiia Pajarinen K-Espoo 8 440:30 5 1 151 16 1 .904 2.18
8 Neea Pohjamo TPS 5 205:30 1 4 104 23 0 .819 6.72

Lower division seriesEdit

The lower division series (Finnish: Alempi jatkosarja) was modified to be played by the five lowest-ranked teams from the preliminary series, rather than the standard four, and the top team from the cross-qualifiers (Finnish: Ristiinkarsinta) of the Naisten Mestis, rather than the top-two from the cross-qualifiers, to account for the additional Naisten Liiga team. The series was originally scheduled to be played during 16 January to 21 February 2021 but was ultimately played during 9 January to 28 February 2021.[1]

StandingsEdit

Pos Team Pld W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts Postseason placement
1 Kärpät 10 8 0 0 2 47 12 +35 24 Playoff quarterfinals
2 Team Kuortane 10 7 1 0 2 33 17 +16 23
3 RoKi 10 7 0 1 2 31 21 +10 22 Qualifiers
4 Lukko 10 3 0 0 7 21 37 −16 9
5 Sport 10 2 1 0 7 28 44 −16 8
6 JYP 10 1 0 1 8 23 52 −29 4
Updated to match(es) played on 28 February 2021. Source: Suomen Jääkiekkoliitto[18]

Official ranking

Pos Team PpG
1 Kärpät 2.40
2 Kuortane 2.30
3 RoKi 2.20
4 Lukko 0.90
5 Sport 0.80
6 JYP 0.40

StatisticsEdit

Scoring leaders

The following players led the lower division in points at the conclusion of the series on 28 February 2021.[19]

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
1 Jenna Kaila Kuortane 10 8 8 16 2
2 Susanna Viitala Sport 10 9 6 15 2
3 Sofianna Sundelin Kuortane 10 6 9 15 4
4 Tilli Keränen Kärpät 7 7 6 13 0
5 Jenna Pirttijärvi RoKi 10 5 8 13 2
6 Kiira Yrjänen Kuortane 9 9 3 12 14
7 Suvi Käyhkö Kärpät 10 4 8 12 0
8 Anna-Kaisa Antti-Roiko Kärpät 9 4 7 11 8
9 Paulina Suoniemi Sport 10 4 7 11 4
10 Jonna Yli-Mäenpää Kärpät 10 3 8 11 4
11 Maija Koski Lukko 10 7 3 10 0

Leading goaltenders

The following goaltenders lead the lower division in save percentage at the conclusion of the series on 28 February 2021, while starting at least one third of matches.[20]

Player Team GP TOI W L SA GA SO SV% GA60
1 Johanna Oksman Kärpät 6 357:22 5 1 132 5 3 .964 0.84
2 Emilia Kyrkkö Kuortane 5 298:33 3 1 151 8 0 .950 1.61
3 Aino Laitinen Kuortane 4 237:05 3 1 94 6 1 .940 1.52
4 Janita Haapasaari RoKi 9 527:10 6 3 248 18 1 .932 2.05
5 Kati Asikainen Kärpät 4 239:22 3 1 71 7 1 .910 1.75
6 Johanna Niemi Lukko 7 378:10 2 5 203 22 0 .902 3.49
7 Katrina Saarenmaa Lukko 4 220:00 1 2 127 14 0 .901 3.82
8 Juuli Kivimäki JYP 6 320:33 1 5 211 25 0 .894 4.68
9 Noora Tonteri JYP 4 236:09 0 4 160 21 0 .884 5.34
10 Melisa Mörönen Sport 9 536:16 3 6 269 39 1 .873 4.36

PlayoffsEdit

International travel restrictions and quarantine protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated extended travel schedules for national teams competing in the 2021 IIHF Women's World Championship, originally scheduled to begin on 4 April 2021, and the Naisten Liiga playoff structure was modified to conclude a week earlier than expected to accommodate a training camp within the quarantine period for the Finnish national team. On 27 February, it was announced that, in order to name the Finnish Champion by 27 March at the latest, the quarterfinal series were to be reduced from the standard best-of-five system to best-of-three. The best-of-five semifinals and finals and the bronze medal match remain unchanged.[21][22]

In an unexpected twist, on 4 March the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced that the 2021 Women's Worlds were to be postponed until 6–16 May 2021.[23] As the first games of the Naisten Liiga quarterfinals had already been played the day before, the playoff structure announced on 27 February remained in place following announcement of the postponement.

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
         
1 Kiekko-Espoo 2
8 Team Kuortane 0
1 Kiekko-Espoo 3
4 Ilves Tampere 1
4 Ilves Tampere 4
5 HPK Hämeenlinna 0
  Kiekko-Espoo 3
  KalPa Kuopio 1
2 KalPa Kuopio 2
7 Kärpät Oulu 0
2 KalPa Kuopio 3 Bronze medal game
3 HIFK Helsinki 2
3 HIFK Helsinki 2   HIFK Helsinki 2
6 TPS Turku 0 SF4 Ilves Tampere 1

Qualification seriesEdit

Two teams from the 2020 qualification series, RoKi and Lukko, returned to the relegation tournament in 2021, joined by Vaasan Sport, the eighth seed of the 2020 playoffs, and JYP, the team promoted mid-season to the lower division series.

After amassing 22 points and a 2.20 points average in the lower division series, RoKi needed just one three-point (regulation) victory in the qualification series to amass an unbeatable point advantage and retain their place in the Naisten Liiga. They earned the necessary three points in the first match of the series, against JYP.[24] Skaters Moona Keskisarja and Jenna Pirttijärvi both ranked in the top ten of the series for point totals and their goaltender with the best save percentage was Olivia Last, at .910, and best goals against average was Janita Haapasaari, with 2.50.

JYP had very little hope of qualifying for the 2021–22 Naisten Liiga season, after concluding the lower division series with just four points in ten games. Over the six games of the qualification series, they were able to collect points only in one overtime victory and two overtime losses and were conclusively relegated to the Naisten Mestis. Their top point scorer was Anna Vanhala, one of four remaining players from 2015–16 JYP roster that won the Finnish Championship, and their best goaltender was Juuli Kivimäki.

The second qualifying position was hotly contested by Lukko and Sport, as the teams came out of the lower division series with only one point separating them.

StandingsEdit

Pos Team Pld W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts Postseason placement
1 RoKi 16 9 1 2 4 55 42 +13 31 Qualify for Naisten Liiga
2 Sport 16 7 2 0 7 53 59 −6 25
3 Lukko 16 3 2 2 9 40 60 −20 15 Relegated to Naisten Mestis
4 JYP 16 1 1 3 11 38 76 −38 8
Updated to match(es) played on 21 March 2021. Source: Suomen Jääkiekkoliitto[25]

Official ranking

Pos Team Pld Pts PpG
1 RoKi 16 31 1.94
2 Sport 16 25 1.56
3 Lukko 16 15 0.94
4 JYP 16 8 0.50

ResultsEdit

6 March 2021 (2021-03-06)
12:15
RoKi Rovaniemi5–1
(0-1, 3-0, 2-0)
JYP JyväskyläLappi Areena, Rovaniemi
Game reference
Janita HaapasaariGoaliesJuuli KivimäkiReferee:
Eemi Kaarlela
Linesmen:
Kalle Tuovila
Sami Kylmäluoma
0-107:22 – PPNurmi (Holmström, Vanhala)
Ad. Makkonen (Parviainen, Pekkala) – PP – 25:311-1
Pirttijärvi (Lahtela) – PP – 32:092-1
Lahtela (Pekkala) – PP – 38:393-1
Ad. Makkonen (Keskisarja) – 40:524-1
Hietala (Kontiosalo) – 52:095-1
4 minPenalties22 min
55Shots20
6 March 2021 (2021-03-06)
16:00
Sport Vaasa5–4 OT
(1-2, 2-2, 1-0, 1-0)
Lukko RaumaVaasa harjoitusjäähalli 2, Vaasa
Game reference
Melisa MörönenGoaliesJohanna NiemiReferee:
Tero Peltomaa
Linesmen:
Sebastian Rosenqvist
Konsta Mäenpänen
0-107:21 – Harjula (Toivonen, Koski)
Storbjörk (Fagerudd, Kupari) – 10:401-1
1-219:59 – Toivonen (Harjula, RM. Leino)
Viitala (Hagnäs) – 23:142-2
Hagnäs (Kuusisto) – 24:163-2
3-333:49 – Toivonen (Harjula, Koski)
3-437:54 – Harjula (Toivonen, RM. Leino)
Viitala (Hänninen) – PP, NG – 59:334-4
Hagnäs (Suoniemi, Viitala) – PP – 61:285-4
8 minPenalties12 min
55Shots20
7 March 2021 (2021-03-07)
16:15
Lukko Rauma2–1 SO
(1-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0-0, 1-0)
JYP JyväskyläÄijänsuon jäähalli II, Rauma
Game reference
Johanna NiemiGoaliesJuuli KivimäkiReferee:
Niko Rautavuori
Linesmen:
Verneri Jalonen
Kaapo Elomaa
Lindroth (Särkinen, Karru) – PP – 29:251-0
1-136:39 – Vanhala
           Shootout           
Shootout goals scored in progression by: Mette Karru (LUK), Essi Reittu (JYP), Anna Kahlhammer (LUK)
4 minPenalties4 min
27Shots32
10 March 2021 (2021-03-10)
18:45
Sport Vaasa2–1
(2-1, 0-0, 0-0)
RoKi RovaniemiVaasa harjoitusjäähalli 2, Vaasa
Game reference
Melisa MörönenGoaliesOlivia LastReferee:
Henry Hietaharju
Linesmen:
Kasper Kalpamaa
Väinö Hautajärvi
0-104:31 – Pirttijärvi (Keskisarja, Mourujärvi)
Viitala (Suoniemi, Hänninen) – PP – 10:301-1
Hagnäs (Mylläri, Viitala) – 14:512-1
8 minPenalties6 min
42Shots37
11 March 2021 (2021-03-11)
17:45
Lukko Rauma5–4 SO
(1-0, 0-3, 3-1, 0-0, 1-0)
RoKi RovaniemiÄijänsuon jäähalli II, Rauma
Game reference
Johanna NiemiGoaliesJanika JärvikariReferee:
Niko Rautavuori
Linesmen:
Verneri Jalonen
Jussi Hirsimäki
Toivonen (Harjula, Koski) – 10:441-0
1-123:47 – Lahtela (Kumpula
1-231:49 – Siivonen (Mourujärvi, Karjalainen)
1-333:08 – Lahtela (Jaako, Kontiosalo)
Koskinen (Hyytiä, Lindroth) – 41:482-3
Harjula (Koski, Kytömaa) – 46:083-3
3-447:55 – PP – Kontiosalo (Jaako, Heinonen)
Koskinen (Hyytiä, Kaukola) – 57:164-4
       Shootout         
Shootout goals scored in progression by: Anna Kahlhammer (LUK), Ella Lahtela (ROK), Mette Karru (LUK)
6 minPenalties4 min
28Shots26
12 March 2021 (2021-03-12)
16:30
JYP Jyväskylä4–5 OT
(0-2, 2-0, 2-2, 0-1)
RoKi RovaniemiHarjoitusjäähalli 2, Jyväskylä
Game reference
Juuli KivimäkiGoaliesJanita HaapasaariReferee:
Sini Kauhanen
Linesmen:
Arttu Rytkönen
Aino Härkönen
0-100:14 – Keskisarja (Pirttijärvi)
0-213:45 – Jaako (Kontiosalo)
VanhalaSH – 22:261-2
Reittu (Nurmi, Yliniva) – PP – 37:352-2
2-342:01 – Keskisarja (Heinonen, Mourujärvi)
Kylmäaho (Pohjala, Nurmi) – 51:353-3
Holmström – 52:034-3
4-459:47 – NG – Pirttijärvi (Jaako)
4-562:16 – Pirttijärvi (Keskisarja)
29 minPenalties16 min
22Shots33
13 March 2021 (2021-03-13)
14:15
JYP Jyväskylä1–4
(0-1, 0-3, 1-0)
Sport VaasaHarjoitusjäähalli 2, Jyväskylä
Game reference
Noora TonteriGoaliesMelisa MörönenReferee:
Joel Hytönen
Linesmen:
Jere Virtanen
Kasperi Toikkanen
0-119:26 – Viitala (Hagnäs, Mylläri)
0-236:36 – Hagnäs (Suoniemi, Viitala)
0-338:17 – Viitala (Qvarfordt)
0-439:50 – Qvarfordt (Kuusisto)
Vanhala (Kaliomäki) – PP – 54:531-4
6 minPenalties6 min
17Shots38
14 March 2021 (2021-03-14)
17:30
Lukko Rauma1–4
(1-2, 0-1, 0-1)
Sport VaasaÄijänsuon jäähalli II, Rauma
Game reference
Johanna NiemiGoaliesMelisa MörönenReferee:
Joona Koivu
Linesmen:
Verneri Jalonen
Jussi Hirsimäki
0-110:05 – Storbjörk (Lehtimäki, Fagerudd)
Karru (Laamanen, Särkinen) – PP – 13:461-1
1-215:20 – Mylläri (Suoniemi, Hagnäs)
1-333:06 – Kuusisto (Qvarfordt, Hautamäki)
1-451:27 – Viitala (Kuusisto, Mylläri)
8 minPenalties8 min
25Shots39
20 March 2021 (2021-03-20)
12:15
RoKi Rovaniemi6–5
(1-0, 2-4, 3-1)
Lukko RaumaLappi Areena, Rovaniemi
Game reference
Olivia LastGoaliesJohanna NiemiReferee:
Sami Kylmäluoma
Linesmen:
Kalle Tuovila
Atte Mathlin
Hietala – 08:331-0
1-122:56 – Koski (Toivonen, Harjula)
1-229:10 – Särkinen (Koski)
Parviainen – 34:452-2
2-338:53 – PPKarru (Kaukola)
2-439:26 – PPHarjula (Koski, Karru)
Pirttijärvi (Keskisarja, Pekkala) – 39:343-4
Pirttijärvi (Heikonen, Mourujärvi) – 40:304-4
Makkonen (Hietala, Parviainen) – PP – 42:445-4
Hietala (Kontiosalo) – EN – 59:086-4
6-559:56 – Koski (Harjula, Toivonen)
8 minPenalties14 min
38Shots29
20 March 2021 (2021-03-20)
12:45
Sport Vaasa6–5
(2-1, 1-1, 3-3)
JYP JyväskyläVaasa harjoitusjäähalli 2, Vaasa
Game reference
Melisa MörönenGoaliesRiina HirvonenReferee:
Valtteri Autio
Linesmen:
Teemu Saari
Väinö Hautajärvi
Suoniemi (Mylläri) – 03:481-0
1-111:31 – PPVanhala (Pohjala, Reittu)
Mylläri (Kuusisto, Hautamäki) – 13:332-1
Mylläri (Viitala, Hänninen) – PP – 27:063-1
3-239:12 – Vanhala (Yliniva, Pohjala)
3-342:52 – Holmström
Hänninen (Viitala) – PP – 49:304-3
Viitala (Suoniemi, Hagnäs) – 50:585-3
Fagerudd (Storbjörk, Lehtimäki) – 51:476-3
6-457:49 – NGNikkilä (Holmström, Repo)
6-559:19 – NGRauhamaa (Pölkki, Nikkilä)
12 minPenalties8 min
34Shots40
21 March 2021 (2021-03-21)
12:15
RoKi Rovaniemi3–4
(2-1, 0-1, 1-2)
Sport VaasaLappi Areena, Rovaniemi
Game reference
Janika JärvikariGoaliesOona MäkiReferee:
Antti Jokelainen
Linesmen:
Atte Mathlin
Kalle Tuovila
Keskisarja (Ad. Makkonen) – 08:231-0
Ad. Makkonen (Kontiosalo, Lahtela) – PP – 13:202-0
2-115:18 – Qvarfordt (Suoniemi)
2-230:51 – Viitala (Suoniemi)
2-341:52 – Myllyniemi (Suoniemi, Qvarfordt)
Ad. Makkonen (Lahtela, Keskisarja) – 42:433-3
3-452:55 – Mylläri (Viitala, Suoniemi)
2 minPenalties6 min
31Shots30
21 March 2021 (2021-03-21)
16:45
JYP Jyväskylä3–2 SO
(1-2, 1-0, 0-0, 0-0, 1-0)
Lukko RaumaHarjoitusjäähalli 2, Jyväskylä
Game reference
Juuli KivimäkiGoaliesKatriina Saarenmaa,
Noora Tonteri
Referee:
Joel Hytönen
Linesmen:
Kasperi Toikkanen
Ville-Valtteri Virtanen
0-102:53 – Särkinen (Leino)
Huuskonen (Nikkilä) – 05:201-1
1-212:04 – PPKoski (Kaukola, Harjula)
Vanhala (Reittu) – 21:332-2
         Shootout         
Shootout goals scored in progression by: Mette Karru (LUK), Sanni Nikkilä (JYP), Veera Pohjala (JYP)
6 minPenalties4 min
35Shots41

StatisticsEdit

Scoring leaders

The following players led scoring in the qualification series at the conclusion of the series on 21 March 2021.[19]

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
1 Susanna Viitala Sport 6 8 6 14 2
2 Ella Harjula Lukko 6 4 6 10 2
3 Paulina Suoniemi Sport 6 1 9 10 2
4 Maija Koski Lukko 6 3 6 9 0
5 Noora Mylläri Sport 6 4 4 8 2
5 Julia Hagnäs Sport 6 4 4 8 6
7 Moona Keskisarja RoKi 6 3 5 8 0
8 Anna Vanhala JYP 6 6 1 7 0
8 Jenna Pirttijärvi RoKi 6 6 1 7 18
10 Aliisa Toivonen Lukko 6 3 4 7 0

Leading goaltenders

The following goaltenders played at least one match in the qualification series, sorted by save percentage.[20]

Player Team GP TOI W L SA GA SO SV% GA60
1 Katrina Saarenmaa Lukko 1 65:00 0 0 35 2 0 .946 1.85
2 Melisa Mörönen Sport 5 300:31 5 0 145 12 0 .924 2.40
3 Juuli Kivimäki JYP 4 252:16 0 2 156 13 0 .923 3.09
4 Oona Mäki Sport 1 60:00 1 0 31 3 0 .912 3.00
5 Olivia Last RoKi 2 119:40 1 1 71 7 0 .910 3.51
6 Noora Tonteri JYP 1 57:20 0 1 38 4 0 .905 4.19
7 Johanna Niemi Lukko 5 310:04 0 3 175 19 0 .902 3.68
8 Janita Haapasaari RoKi 2 120:06 2 0 42 5 0 .894 2.50
9 Janika Järvikari RoKi 2 123:29 0 1 58 8 0 .879 3.89
10 Riina Hirvonen JYP 1 57:24 0 1 34 6 0 .850 6.27

Awards and honoursEdit

Finnish Ice Hockey Association awardsEdit

Source: Finnish Ice Hockey Association,[27] Jääkiekkokirja 2022[28]

Czech forward Michaela Pejzlová of HIFK Naiset claimed the Marianne Ihalainen Award as regular season scoring champion, the first international player to ever win a league award. KalPa Naiset winger Matilda Nilsson was the top goalscorer of the regular season and became the second KalPa player to receive the Tiia Reima Award.

All-Star TeamsEdit

All-Star Team

  • Goaltender: Anni Keisala, Ilves
  • Defenceman: Nelli Laitinen, Kiekko-Espoo
  • Defenceman: Anna Kilponen, Ilves
  • Winger: Elisa Holopainen, KalPa
  • Center: Estelle Duvin, TPS
  • Winger: Matilda Nilsson, KalPa

All-Star Team II

Source: Finnish Ice Hockey Association,[27] Jääkiekkokirja 2022[28]

Player of the MonthEdit

  • September 2020: Elisa Holopainen (F), KalPa Kuopio[29]
  • October 2020: Nelli Laitinen (D), Kiekko-Espoo[30]
  • November 2020: Estelle Duvin (F), TPS Turku[31]
  • December 2020: not awarded (no games played)
  • January 2021: Anni Keisala (G), Ilves Tampere[32]
  • February 2021: Emilia Vesa (F), Kiekko-Espoo[33]

MilestonesEdit

  • On 19 September 2020, HPK forward and captain Riikka Noronen played her 600th game in the Naisten Liiga, becoming the first player in league history to reach the milestone.[34]
  • On 17 January 2021, Ilves forward Emilia Varpula and KalPa defenceman Eveliina Nurmi played their 200th games in the Naisten Liiga.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Sarjatoiminta ja kurinpito - Sarjakaaviot - Naisten Liiga (20-21)". finhockey.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. Archived from the original on 24 September 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  2. ^ Malmberg, Henna (23 September 2020). "Sijoitukset sarjataulukoissa – Määräävä tekijä kaudella 2020-21 on pistekeskiarvo". finhockey.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. Archived from the original on 7 October 2020. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  3. ^ Savolainen, Samuel (15 March 2020). "HPK-kiekkonaisten päävalmentaja vaihtuu – "Odotukset ja toiminta eivät kohdanneet"". Hämeen Sanomat (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 16 March 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  4. ^ Laakso, Mika (17 April 2020). "HPK:n päävalmentaja luottavaisin mielin tilanteesta huolimatta − "Haasteellinen kesä voi olla joko uhka tai mahdollisuus"". Jatkoaika (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 24 October 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  5. ^ Teiskonlahti, Kirsi (20 February 2020). "Ilves-naisten tuleva päävalmentaja Linda Välimäki odottaa naisten murtautuvan myös poikajoukkueiden valmennukseen: "Se olisi ihan tervettä"". Yle Urheilu (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 21 February 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  6. ^ Viljanen, Markus (20 August 2020). "Naisten Liiga: Sami Piilikangas otti vetovastuun Lukossa: "Minimitavoitteemme on sarjapaikan säilyttäminen"". leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. Archived from the original on 18 December 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  7. ^ Viljanen, Markus (10 March 2021). "Kesken kauden päävalmentajaksi noussut Susanne Uppgård tavoittelee Sportin kanssa onnistumisia karsintasarjassa". leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. Archived from the original on 11 March 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  8. ^ Lahti, Kalle (11 February 2021). "Naisten joukkueen valmennukseen muutoksia". TPS Juniorijääkiekko ry (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 9 July 2021. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Naisten Sarjajärjestelmät 20-21" (PDF). Dropbox (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. May 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Jääkiekkoliiton alaisten sarjojen syyskausi keskeytetään 2.12. alkaen". finhockey.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. 1 December 2020. Archived from the original on 1 December 2020. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  11. ^ Arkko, Simo (1 December 2020). "Jääkiekkoliitolta ratkaisu: Mestis ja Naisten Liiga keskeytetään". Yle (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 1 December 2020. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  12. ^ "2020–21 Naisten Liiga, alkusarja: Sarjataulukko" (XLS). tulospalvelu.leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. Retrieved 30 November 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ "2020–21 Naisten Liiga, alkusarja – Pistepörssi". tilastopalvelu.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. 29 November 2020. Archived from the original on 18 October 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  14. ^ "2020–21 Naisten Liiga, alkusarja – Maalivahtitilastot". tilastopalvelu.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. 29 November 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "2020–21 Naisten Liiga – Sarjataulukko" (XLS). tulospalvelu.leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. 28 February 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  16. ^ "2020–21 Naisten Liiga, Naisten Liiga – Pelaajatilastot" (XLS). tulospalvelu.leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. 28 February 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "2020–21 Naisten Liiga, Naisten Liiga – Maalivahtitilastot" (XLS). tulospalvelu.leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. 28 February 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ "2020–21 Naisten Liiga, alempi jatkosarja – Sarjataulukko" (XLS). tulospalvelu.leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. 28 February 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  19. ^ a b "2020–21 Naisten Liiga, karsintasarja – Pelaajatilastot" (XLS). tulospalvelu.leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. 21 March 2021. Retrieved 22 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ a b "2020–21 Naisten Liiga, karsintasarja – Maalivahtitilastot" (XLS). tulospalvelu.leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. 21 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ "Naisten Liigan pudotuspeleihin muutoksia - Mestari selvillä viimeistään 27.3". leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. 27 February 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ "Naisten Liigan pudotuspelijärjestelmään muutoksia – puolivälierät pelataan paras kolmesta -järjestelmällä". Jatkoaika.com (in Finnish). 1 March 2021. Retrieved 2 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ Merk, Martin (4 March 2021). "Women's Worlds moved to May". International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  24. ^ "Naisten Liiga jatkuu ensi kaudella Rovaniemellä ja Vaasassa". Jatkoaika (in Finnish). 20 March 2021. Archived from the original on 20 March 2021. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  25. ^ "2020–21 Naisten Liiga, karsintasarja – Sarjataulukko" (XLS). tulospalvelu.leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. 21 March 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  26. ^ Niemeläinen, Jonne (16 March 2021). "Huikeat tehot kerännyt 19-vuotias KalPa-hyökkääjä Elisa Holopainen palkittiin Naisten Liigan runkosarjan parhaana – huomenna edessä kauden tärkein peli". Yle (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 16 March 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  27. ^ a b Mennander, Pasi (15 March 2021). "Naisten Liigan kauden 2020–21 palkitut pelaajat ja tähtikentät". leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  28. ^ a b Suomen Jääkiekkoliitto; Jääkiekkon SM-liiga Oy (2021). Aaltonen, Juha (ed.). "Jääkiekkokirja 2022: Suomen Jääkiekkoliiton ja Liiga Kausijulkaisu 2021–2022". Jääkiekkokirja (in Finnish). Helsinki: Uusi Suomi/Kiekkolehti: 583. ISSN 0784-3321. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  29. ^ Mennander, Pasi (1 October 2020). "KalPan Elisa Holopainen Naisten Liigan syyskuun pelaaja". leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. Archived from the original on 24 March 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  30. ^ Mennander, Pasi (2 November 2020). "Kiekko-Espoon Nelli Laitinen Naisten Liigan lokakuun pelaaja". www.leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. Archived from the original on 24 March 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  31. ^ Mennander, Pasi (1 December 2020). "TPS:n Estelle Duvin Naisten Liigan marraskuun pelaaja". leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. Retrieved 13 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  32. ^ Mennander, Pasi (3 February 2021). "Ilveksen Anni Keisala Naisten Liigan tammikuun pelaaja". leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. Retrieved 13 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  33. ^ Mennander, Pasi (1 March 2021). "Kiekko-Espoon Emilia Vesa Naisten Liigan helmikuun pelaaja". leijonat.fi (in Finnish). Finnish Ice Hockey Association. Archived from the original on 11 April 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  34. ^ Lainesalo, Joonas (26 September 2020). "Yli 600 ottelun Riikka Noronen jatkaa ennätysten tekemistä: "Osaan arvostaa sitä, että olen jaksanut pelata näinkin kauan"". Hämeen Sanomat (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 7 October 2020. Retrieved 16 January 2021.

External linksEdit