|City||Espoo, Uusimaa, Finland|
|Home arena||Tapiolan urheilupuisto|
|Colors||Navy, gold, blue|
|General manager||Emma Terho|
|Head coach||Sami Haapanen|
|Affiliate(s)||Espoon Kiekkoseura (EKS)|
|Parent club(s)||Kiekko Espoo Oy|
|Farm club(s)||Kiekko-Espoo Akatemia|
|Championships||1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019|
|1989–1992||Espoon Kiekkoseura (EKS)|
|1998–2016||Espoo Blues Naiset|
|2016–17||Espoo United Naiset|
Kiekko-Espoo Naiset (previously Espoo Blues Naiset) is the representative women's ice hockey team of the hockey club Kiekko-Espoo based in Espoo, Finland. They compete in the Naisten Liiga, the premier women's ice hockey league in Finland, where they are the winningest team in league history. The team has been known as Espoon Kiekkoseura (EKS), Espoo Blues Naiset, Espoo United Naiset, and Kiekko-Espoo during its tenure in the Naisten Liiga; at least one Finnish Championship medal (gold, silver, or bronze) was won under each name.
- 1 History
- 2 Players and personnel
- 3 Team honours
- 4 Season-by-season results
- 5 Franchise records and leaders
- 6 Notable alumni
- 7 References
- 8 External links
History[edit | edit source]
EKS, 1990–1992[edit | edit source]
The team entered Naisten SM-sarja (now Naisten Liiga) in the 1990–91 season under the name EKS (Espoon Kiekkoseura). The two seasons played as EKS were an impressive showing for the newcomers and each resulted in a bronze medal, one in the 1990–91 season after defeating Ässät and one in the 1991–92 season after defeating KalPa.
Several EKS players also played for the bronze medal winning Finnish women's national team at the 1992 IIHF World Championship including Liisa Karikoski, Katri-Helena Luomajoki, and Hanna Teerijoki.
Kiekko-Espoo, 1992–1998[edit | edit source]
In 1992 EKS was renamed Kiekko-Espoo, the same name as its brother-team in the Liiga. The team continued to be held to bronze or lower finishes, making it to five bronze medal series in six years and winning four of them (1993, 1994, 1997, 1998).
The Golden Age: Espoo Blues, 1998–2016[edit | edit source]
The team was renamed Espoo Blues in 1998, continuing the trend of sharing the name of its brother-team in the Liiga, which also renamed Espoo Blues in that year. The name change unwittingly marked the beginning of a "golden age" for the team. Starting with their first SM-sarja gold medal in 1999, after achieving victory over JYP in the finals, they went on to win a staggering seven consecutive championships (1999–2005) and a total of thirteen championships in eighteen years. The Blues were kept off the SM-sarja medal podium only three times in the 1998–2016 span; in addition to their championship titles, they earned the team's first silver medal in 2009 and two more bronze medals in 2006 and 2016.
The Espoo Blues were also strong competitors at international tournaments in this period, earning medals at six IIHF European Women's Champions Cups: three silver medals (2005, 2007-08, 2009-10) and three bronze medals (2008-09, 2013–14, 2014–15).
Espoo United, 2016–17[edit | edit source]
In March 2016 Jääkiekko Espoo Oy, the parent club of both the Espoo Blues of the Naisten Liiga and Espoo Blues of the Liiga, declared bankruptcy with estimated liabilities of approximately €3 million. In response, Jussi Salonoja, a Finnish millionaire and film director who had previously owned the Espoo Blues franchise from 2002–2012, created a new club and organization called Espoo United Oy, stating that he was "committed to supporting hockey in Espoo." The Espoo Blues men's and women's basketball and ice hockey teams would play for Espoo United.
For the 2016–17 season the Espoo United women's ice hockey team played in the Naisten SM-sarja and won silver in the 2017 Finnish Championship. The Espoo United men's team played in the Mestis, the league below the premier-level Liiga, where they won bronze in the playoffs.
On 15 August 2017 Salonoja announced that the Espoo United was abandoning its women's ice hockey and basketball teams for financial reasons. “The reason is twofold: the men's teams' budgets are far greater than those of women's teams, so their running is more demanding, but on the other hand, [the men's teams] are more interesting to sponsors and audiences,” Salonoja said.
The future of women's ice hockey team was left uncertain and many possible solutions were proposed, including being acquired by HIFK or merging with Espoo Blues Juniorit (a junior club with strong ties to the franchise).
Espoo Blues part 2, 2017–2019[edit | edit source]
In September 2017 the Finnish Ice Hockey Association announced that it had supported the creation of an independent association, Ysikoppi ry, to oversee the team and had given its approval for the team to compete in the upcoming 2017–18 season under the name Espoo Blues.
Players and personnel[edit | edit source]
2020–21 roster[edit | edit source]
2020–21 coaching staff[edit | edit source]
- Head Coach: Sami Haapanen
- Assistant Coach: Timo Löppönen
- Goaltending Coach: Risto Jaakkola
- Conditioning Coach: Viola Kaukonen
- Team Manager: Jarkko Malm
- Equipment Manager: Marko Ahlroth & Harri Lehtonen
Team captaincy history[edit | edit source]
- Katri-Helena Luomajoki, 1997–98
- Essi Sievers, 2007–2009
- Emma Laaksonen Terho, 2009–2011
- Essi Sievers, 2011–12
- Emma Laaksonen Terho, 2012–2014
- Minttu Tuominen, 2014–2016
- Linda Välimäki Leppänen, 2016–17
- Minttu Tuominen, 2017–2020
- Annina Rajahuhta, 2020–present
Head coaches[edit | edit source]
- Jari Kalho, 2000–01
- Hannu Saintula, 2001–02
- Jari Peltonen, 2002–2006
- Sami Haapanen, 2008–2011
- Kai Jansson, 2012–13
- Sami Haapanen, 2013–present
Team honours[edit | edit source]
Finnish Championship[edit | edit source]
- Gold Finnish Champions (14): 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019
- Silver Runners-up (2): 2010, 2017
- Bronze Third Place (8): 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2006, 2016
- Foster, Meredith (2019-03-26). The Espoo Blues are the 2019 Aurora Borealis Cup Champions.
- Historia (fi).
- Espoo Blues Women - In English (2012).
- Hiitelä, Juha (2016-04-12). Konkurssipesä myöntää: Bluesin tilanteeseen ei ratkaisua (fi). Ilta-Sanomat.
- Lempinen, Marko (2016-04-28). Nyt se on varmaa: Jussi Salonoja perusti uuden seuran – "Lähetän hakupaperit tänään" (fi). Ilta-Sanomat.
- Espoo Unitedin konkurssista tuli virallista (fi). Ilta-Sanomat (2018-05-04).
- Espoo United Cuts Women's Basketball & Ice Hockey Teams (en-GB) (2017-08-15).
- Oivio, Janne (2017-08-15). Jussi Salonojalta raju ratkaisu: Espoo United hylkää naisjoukkueet (fi). Ilta-Sanomat. “Syy kaksijakoinen: miesten joukkueiden budjetit ovat selvästi suuremmat kuin naisten joukkueissa, eli niiden toiminnan pyörittäminen on vaativampaa, mutta toisaalta juuri ne kiinnostavat sponsoreita ja yleisöä enemmän, Salonoja sanoo.”
- Foster, Meredith (2017-08-17). Espoo United women's team folds one month before puck drop.
- Tammilehto, Teemu (2017-08-15). HIFK on kiinnostunut Salonojan hylkäämästä Espoo Unitedin naisjoukkueesta (fi). yle.
- Espoo Unitedin sarjapaikka Naisten Liigassa Ysikoppi ry:lle (fi-fi). Finnish Ice Hockey Association (2017-09-04).
- Saarinen, Joska (2017-09-04). Espoo Unitedin hylkäämä joukkue sai tarvittavat rahat kasaan: "Kumppaneita on sen verran, että uskallamme lähteä kauteen" (fi). yle.
- Liiga (W): Kiekko-Espoo (en).
- Jokkue 2019-2020 (fi).
- Espoo Blues 2018-2019.
Season-by-season results[edit | edit source]
This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the franchise. The team was called the “Espoo Blues” during the 2015–16, 2017–18, and 2018–19 seasons; “Espoo United” in the 2016–17 season, and “Kiekko-Espoo” in the 2019–20 season.
Note: Finish = Rank at end of regular season; GP = Games played; W = Wins (3 points); OTW = Overtime wins (2 points); OTL = Overtime losses (1 point); L = Losses (0 points); GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; Pts = Points
|Season||League||Regular season||Post season results||Top scorer (regular season)|
|2015–16||SM-sarja||2nd||28||19||3||1||5||162||67||64||Won bronze medal, 1-0 (Kärpät)||L. Välimäki 70 (31+39)|
|2016–17||SM-sarja||2nd||28||17||3||1||7||109||68||58||Lost final, 2–3 (Kärpät)||L. Välimäki 60 (29+31)|
|2017–18||Liiga||3rd||30||16||2||4||8||125||74||56||4th: Lost bronze medal, 0-1 (Team Kuortane)||E. Rakkolainen 27 (16+11)|
|2018–19||Liiga||1st||30||23||1||0||6||164||58||71||Won Championship, 3-0 (Ilves)||A. Rajahuhta 66 (36+30)|
|2019–20||Liiga||1st||30||20||3||2||5||145||60||68||Won semi-final, 3–0 (Team Kuortane);
Finals cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
|E. Rakkolainen 42 (13+29)|
Franchise records and leaders[edit | edit source]
Single-season records[edit | edit source]
- Most goals in a season: Karoliina Rantamäki, 39 goals (24 games; 2002–03)
- Most assists in a season: Minttu Tuominen, 50 assists (30 games; 2018–19)
- Most points in a season: Michelle Karvinen, 81 points (22 games; 2008–09)
- Most points in a season, defenceman: Minttu Tuominen, 62 points (30 games; 2018–19)
- Most penalty minutes in a season: Tea Villilä, 76 PIM (16 games; 2008–09)
- Best save percentage in a season, over ten games played: Noora Räty, .954 SVS% (19 games; 2006–07) / Isabella Portnoj, .954 SVS% (19 games; 2013–14)
- Best goals against average in a season, over ten games played: Noora Räty, 1.21 GAA (19 games; 2006–07)
Career records[edit | edit source]
- Most career goals: Karoliina Rantamäki, 355 goals (338 games; 1992–2007)
- Most career assists: Petra Vaarakallio, 351 assists (286 games; 1992–1994, 1995–2006)
- Most career points: Karoliina Rantamäki, 639 points (338 games; 1992–2007)
- Best career points per game, over 30 games played: Michelle Karvinen, 3.667 points per game (39 games; 2007–2009)
- Most career points, defenceman: Minttu Tuominen, 313 points (208 games; 2006–2009, 2013–2016, 2017–2020)
- Most career penalty minutes: Tea Villilä, 317 penalty minutes (142 games; 2008–2010, 2016–present)
All-time scoring leaders[edit | edit source]
The top-ten point-scorers in franchise history.
Source(s): Elite Prospects
Notable alumni[edit | edit source]
Years active with Kiekko-Espoo listed alongside players' names.
- Susanne Ceder, 1998–2000
- Minna Dunder, 1993–94
- Moeko Fujimoto, 2014–15
- Nikola Gápová, 2015–2018
- Päivi Halonen Virta, 1997–2006
- Fengling Jin, 2005–06
- Liisa Karikoski, 1990–1994
- Michelle Karvinen, 2007–2009
- Miia Kataja, 1994–2006
- Emma Laaksonen Terho, 1996–2000, 2004–2007 & 2008–2015
- Katri-Helena Luomajoki, 1990–1994 & 1995–2002
- Marianne Mattila, 1996–1998
- Oona Parviainen, 1999–2010
- Karoliina Rantamäki, 1992–2007
- Danielle Rozon, 2017–18
- Noora Räty, 2005–2009
- Maria Selin Saarni, 1994–2000
- Essi Sievers, 2002–2010 & 2011–2014
- Rui Sun, 2005–06
- Hanna Teerijoki, 1991–1994
- Minnamari “Minttu” Tuominen, 2006–2008, 2013–2016 & 2017–2020
- Petra Vaarakallio, 1992–2006
- Linda Välimäki Leppänen, 2010–2017
- Arina Zvezdina, 2011–12
References[edit | edit source]
- 2015–16 Naisten SM-sarja playoff (.xls) (fi). Finnish Ice Hockey Association (March 2016).
- 2016–17 Naisten SM-sarja playoff (fi). Finnish Ice Hockey Association (March 2017).
- 2017–18 Naisten Liiga pudotuspelit (fi). Finnish Ice Hockey Association (March 2018).
- 2018–19 Naisten Liiga pudotuspelit (fi). Finnish Ice Hockey Association (March 2019).
- 2019–20 Naisten Liiga pudotuspelit (fi). Finnish Ice Hockey Association (March 2020).
- All Time Regular Season Player Stats for Kiekko-Espoo.
[edit | edit source]
- Team information and statistics from Eliteprospects.com and Eurohockey.com and Hockeyarchives.info (in French)
|Seasons||1982–83 - ... - 2019–20 - 2020–21|
|Current teams (2020–21)||HIFK - HPK - Ilves - KalPa - Kiekko-Espoo - Kärpät - Lukko - RoKi - Sport - Team Kuortane - TPS|
|Former teams||APV - JYP - KS Noux - Ylöjärvi-Ilves - Team China - Salo HT - KJT Haukat|
|Trophies and awards||Aurora Borealis Cup - Riikka Nieminen Award - Katja Riipi Award - Päivi Halonen Award - Tuula Puputti Award - Marianne Ihalainen Award - Tiia Reima Award - Karoliina Rantamäki Award - Emma Laaksonen Award - Noora Räty Award - Hannu Saintula Award|
|Other||Naisten Mestis - Finland women's national ice hockey team - Finland women's national under-18 ice hockey team |
Liiga - Mestis - Finland men's national ice hockey team
|Finnish Ice Hockey Association • IIHF European Women's Champions Cup|
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Espoo United Naiset. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).|
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