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Entries with the tag: hannu kapanen

Finland’s classic winters

And that was the second Finnish Winter Classic. A real Helsinki derby, with the reds, IFK, taking on the whites, Jokerit, in front of 35 000 people in the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. The home team, IFK, won the game in a shootout, 3-2. And you know there’s magic in the air when the nicest play of the game is Jarkko Ruutu’s forehand-backhand deke in the shootout.

Last year, the home team - then Jokerit - lost the game so IFK is now 2-0 in their outdoor games in the SM-liiga.

While the February 2011 derby was the first outdoor game in the Finnish league history, it wasn’t that long ago the Finnish top teams still battled for points while battling against snow and freezing cold. The league was founded in 1975, as an entity divorced from the federation.

Back then, the first indoor arena in the country was just ten years old. In the early 1970s, several of the rinks were converted into arenas, and surprisingly many are still - after renovations - home arenas to Finnish league teams.

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  Tags: finland, hannu+kapanen, jarkko+ruutu

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