Everybody loves an underdog story with a fairytale ending. There’s Cinderella, Rocky and the Miracle on Ice. And in Finland, there’s HPK Hameenlinna, who defied the odds all the way to a Finnish League title.
To call HPK a no-name team is more than fair. They didn’t have any Team Finland regulars on the roster, and the one player with NHL experience was 28-year-old winger Philippe Cornet, who returned to HPK from the Norwegian League having played two games with the Edmonton Oilers back in 2012.
But somehow, the team that missed the playoffs the year before came together and came out on top. Finishing fifth in the standings, Hameenlinna defeated fourth-place TPS Turku, second-place Tappara Tampere and regular-season champs Karpat Oulu en route to hoisting the Canada Bowl, the Liiga’s cha...
About the Author
Risto Pakarinen is a Finnish freelance writer, based in Stockholm, Sweden who also writes for NHL.com and IIHF.com. When not writing about European hockey on THN, heâ€™s probably writing about hockey at ristopakarinen.com/hockey as Puckarinen.