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Tappara (Finnish for "Battle axe", Finnish pronunciation: [ˈtɑpːɑrɑ]) is a Finnish ice hockey team playing in the Liiga. They play at Tampereen jäähalli in Tampere, Finland. The team has won 14 Finnish league championships with its current name (1959, 1961, 1964, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 2003, 2016, 2017).[1] The team continued the traditions of TBK, who won three national championships in a row in 1953, 1954 and 1955. Therefore official statistics consider Tappara has 17 national titles,[2] making it the most successful Finnish club of all-time.

Tampereen Tappara
Logo of Tappara.svg
City Tampere, Finland
League Liiga
Founded 1955
Home arena Hakametsä (capacity 7,300)
Colours Blue, orange, white
              
TapparaUniformEnglish.png
Owner(s) Tamhockey Oy
General manager Finland Mikko Leinonen
Head coach Finland Jukka Rautakorpi
Captain Finland Jukka Peltola
Website tappara.fi

Contents

Team historyEdit

Early daysEdit

Tappara was established in 1955 in Tampere and a major part of the players came to the newly founded team from local team TBK, when Tappara inherited their place in the national top league. Tappara also borrowed TBK's colors for themselves and got their place in the top league. Tappara played its first official game in the same year, 1955.

First period of success (1956–1964)Edit

 
Tappara championship squad in 1961

Tappara went on to win three championships (1959, 1961, and 1964), three second places (1958, 1960, and 1963), and three third places (1956, 1957, and 1962) in just nine years. Their winning streak was followed by a more silent period, with Tappara even playing one season (1965–1966) at the second highest level, gaining immediate promotion back to the top flight. In 1965, an indoor arena Tampereen jäähalli was built in Hakametsä to be the home arena of Tappara and their local rivals, Ilves and Koo-Vee. 1965 World Ice Hockey Championships were also held there in the same year.

Second period of success (1975–1988)Edit

Tappara fans had to wait until the mid-seventies until Tappara started to be successful again, thanks to some legendary players such as the goalkeeper Antti Leppänen and the defender Pekka Marjamäki. The bronze medals in 1973 and silver medals in 1974 were followed by Finnish championship in 1975. This successful period was even longer than the first period of glory in the 1950s and early sixties. Tappara also won the Finnish championships in 1977, 1979, 1982, 1984, and the long streak ended by winning three consecutive championships in 1986–1988.

Many fans regard the Tappara team of the late 1980s – coached by Rauno Korpi – as their strongest of all time. Behind the senior players such as Timo Susi and Erkki Lehtonen, the likes of Teppo Numminen (a long-term defender in NHL) and Janne Ojanen (Tappara icon) led the way as new talented youngsters. In 1988, the Finland national team gained its first success by winning the Olympic silver medal in Calgary, and Tappara players formed a substantial part of the Finnish team. Tappara players, Erkki Lehtonen and Janne Ojanen, were the goal scorers for Finland in the decisive win against the Soviet Union.

Recent days and success in mid-2010sEdit

During the 1990s, Tappara did not gain any notable success besides finishing third in the league in spring 1990. In 1992, the once so mighty team even had to fight for its place at the top level in relegation playoffs against Oulun Kärpät. A glimpse of glory was, however, achieved on the international level, as Tappara player Timo Jutila captained the Finnish national team to win the ice hockey world championship in 1995. In the early 2000s, Tappara played some good seasons, winning silver medals in both 2001 and 2002. In 2003 – to the surprise of many – Tappara won the Finnish championship, coached by Jukka Rautakorpi. After that, Tappara reached 3rd place in the top league in 2008 and placed second three seasons in a row from 2013 to 2015. In 2014 and 2015 the final series were decided in a decisive seventh game, but Kärpät won both titles in overtime. In 2016, Tappara finally won the championship after beating HIFK in the finals.[1] In 2017, Tappara won the regular season for the first time since 2002, advanced to the finals for the fifth time in a row and won another championship. In 2018, Tappara reached the Finals for a record-breaking 6th year in a row, but lost to Kärpät in 6 games.

Home arenaEdit

Tappara has played their home games in Tampereen jäähalli since it was built in 1965. The local rival Ilves uses the same arena. The arena was the first indoor arena in Finland and it is located in the neighborhood of Hakametsä. Originally the capacity was 10,200 spectators, but it has declined in various renovations over the years. In its current form, the arena accommodates 7,300 spectators.

It has been decided that a new arena will be built in the city center of Tampere on a covered rail yard. The construction would begin in 2017 and the arena would be opened in 2020.[3] The 2022 Ice Hockey World Championships has been granted for Tampere and Helsinki.[4] Tampereen jäähalli will be converted into a venue for other indoor sports when the new arena is opened.

Current rosterEdit

Updated March 4, 2018.[5]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
12   Jere-Matias Alanen W L 22 2017 Tampere, Finland
23   Aleksi Elorinne D L 28 2014 Joensuu, Finland
25   Henrik Haapala W L 24 2018 Lempäälä, Finland
30   Christian Heljanko G L 21 2016 Porvoo, Finland
49   Dominik Hrachovina G L 23 2012 Brno, Czech Republic
61   Juhani Jasu C R 30 2016 Eurajoki, Finland
44   Jan-Mikael Järvinen C L 30 2011 Pirkkala, Finland
11   Matti Järvinen C L 28 2017 London, England
26   Jere Karjalainen W R 26 2014 Helsinki, Finland
13   Valtteri Kemiläinen D R 26 2016 Jyväskylä, Finland
71   Kristian Kuusela W R 35 2017 Seinäjoki, Finland
4   Mikko Lehtonen D L 24 2017 Turku, Finland
67   Anton Levtchi W L 22 2015 Varkaus, Finland
68   Joona Luoto W L 20 2016 Tampere, Finland
78   Niko Mikkola D L 22 2017 Kiiminki, Finland
62   Otto Mäkinen C L 20 2017 Tampere, Finland
28   Markus Nenonen W L 25 2018 Jämsänkoski, Finland
17   Teemu Nurmi W R 33 2016 Tampere, Finland
20   Niko Ojamäki W R 23 2017 Pori, Finland
81   Jukka Peltola W L 30 2006 Tampere, Finland
52   Otso Rantakari D R 24 2016 Helsinki, Finland
42   Otto Rauhala C L 23 2014 Ylöjärvi, Finland
73   Kimmo Rautiainen G L 20 2016 Savonlinna, Finland
92   Sebastian Repo W R 22 2016 Lahti, Finland
5   Jere Rouhiainen D L 22 2015 Tampere, Finland
9   Aleksi Salonen D R 25 2016 Muurame, Finland
15   Toni Utunen D L 18 2016 Kokkola, Finland
33   Veli-Matti Vittasmäki D L 28 2017 Turku, Finland
67   Tomáš Záborský W L 30 2017 Trencin, Slovakia

Notable playersEdit

HonoursEdit

ChampionsEdit

Runners-upEdit

  •   SM-liiga (8): (1958, 1960, 1963, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 2001, 2002, 2013, 2014, 2015
  •   SM-sarja (4): 1958, 1960, 1963, 1974
  •   SM-liiga (2): 1990, 2008
  •   SM-sarja (9): 1946, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1956, 1957, 1962, 1973
  •   Finnish Cup (2): 1964, 1966

InternationalEdit

Retired numbersEdit

Head coachesEdit

TriviaEdit

The goal song of the team has been "Live Is Life" by Opus since the 1980s.

The anthem of Tappara is "Tappara on Terästä" written in 1976, recorded by Juha Vainio

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Tampereella juhlitaan – Tappara on Suomen mestari!". Ilta-Sanomat. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "Liiga". liiga.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  3. ^ "Aamulehti". aamulehti.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "IIHF". iihf.com. Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Joukkue (Tappara)" (in Finnish). www.tappara.fi. Retrieved 2017-05-29. 

External linksEdit