The 2021 World Para Ice Hockey Championships B-Pool will take place from 17-22 September in Ostersund, Sweden.
Six teams will compete, with the top three finishers advancing to the Paralympic Qualification Tournament later this year, and the top two finishers also being promoted to the A-Pool for the 2022-23 season.
Follow along as we break down what you need to know about each team. It is time to take a closer look at the Finnish team.
Background: Coached by Jari Harkala, this will mark the first-ever appearance for Finland in the World Championships B-Pool following its second-place finish at the most recent World Championships C-Pool in 2018. Finland’s Para ice hockey team is trying to build a programme that mirrors its able-bodied counterpart, which has won five Olympic medals and three world titles.
World Ranking: 14th
World Championships History:
2018 C-Pool: 2nd place
2016 C-Pool: 2nd place
Athlete to Watch: While Finland has played internationally for only a few years, Helsinki native Timo Karko has already turned into a stalwart goaltender for the programme. He has been playing the sport for 15 years — well before Finland had a national team — and works as a production coordinator at a Finnish security company full-time while not training. During their gold-medal game against China at the World Championships C-Pool in 2018, he amassed 26 saves.
Matchup to Watch: Finland vs. China at 13:30 on 18 September will be a rematch of the gold-medal game from the last World Championships C-Pool, which China won 5-0. It will also be the second game in two days for Finland, a true test of the team’s endurance and stamina on the ice, which will reveal just how well it can stick with the best teams in the B-Pool or not.