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Venla Hovi announces retirement

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Naisleijonat forward calls it a career.

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 2 Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

A day after making history as part of Finland’s first-ever Women’s World Championship silver medal team, forward Venla Hovi has announced her retirement.

“I want to thank everyone who has supported me along the way: coaches, friends, family, fans,” Hovi told The Ice Garden. “The biggest thank you goes to my teammates. Nothing will ever replace the emotions that I got to experience with my amazing teammates; the memories will always stay on my mind.”

Hovi, 31, started her hockey career in the Ilves organization in her native Tampere. She won three SM-Sarja (now Naisten Liiga) championships, two with Ilves and one with HPK. As part of the 2018-19 Calgary Inferno she became the first Finnish player to win the CWHL’s Clarkson Cup.

Her focus now shifts, and she welcomes the challenge: “Right now I feel relieved and excited to move on; it’s almost like starting a new life. I have a great support system of people in my life and education to help me move on and explore life after hockey.”

At the collegiate level Hovi spent a season at Niagara University in the NCAA and later moved to the University of Manitoba in 2015. During her senior year as Bison in 2018, Hovi helped the team to a USports championship and was named Bison Sports Female Athlete of the Year.

Venla Hovi with her Bison Sports Female Athlete of the Year Award.
University of Manitoba

After graduation she moved to an assistant coaching role, where she plans to stay:

”I will also continue coaching so that I can stay in the game and help grow the game and hopefully help as many girls as possible to reach their dreams.”

Internationally, Hovi retires as a three-time Olympian with two bronze medals. She appeared in eight IIHF Women’s World Championships, winning three bronze medals and one silver.