JYP is an ice hockey team that plays in SM-liiga, the top professional league in Finland. The parent club’s registered name is JYP Jyväskylä Oy. JYP first gained promotion to the highest level in 1985, and has remained there ever since.
JYP is the reigning Finnish champion in 2009! Early in the regular season, the team climbed to the top of the table and never relinquished its lead, at the end a margin of six points. The momentum carried into the play-offs, where JYP first beat TPS and then KalPa to advance to the finals against Kärpät, the formidable dynasty builders of the 2000s.
By this time, though, the pride of Central Finland was geared for ultimate performance, clicking on all cylinders and backed by a rock-solid netminding tandem. Most of the games were close contests, but JYP remained consistent all the way through and swept away the opponent in four straight. And then there it was, the moment to cherish: the captain lifted the cup, the crowd erupted – after a quarter-century and a seemingly endless wait, JYP finally came through!
In previous times, JYP had already come close by winning three medals, silver in 1989 and 1992 and bronze in 1993. Since the mid-1990s, the team’s best finish had been 5th place, until the championship spring.
JYP is renowned for its strong work with juniors. The club’s junior teams have won numerous Finnish youth championships, most recently in the spring of 2007, when JYP’s ‘B’ juniors (under 18) won the gold medal.
Built in 1982 and completely made over in 2008, the Synergia-arena ice hall at Hippos, Jyväskylä has a capacity of 4,500 spectators. JYP’s home games attract an average total attendance of 150,000 each season.
Jyväskylä, the home of JYP, is a lively and youthful city in the lake district area of beautiful Central Finland. Jyväskylä has more than 125,000 inhabitants. This, coupled with the surrounding region’s population, provides JYP with a solid base of existing and potential followers – not forgetting the considerable numbers of transplanted JYP supporters who turn up for road games.
Besides ice hockey, Jyväskylä is best known in the sports world for its ski jumpers, Nordic combined athletes, and Neste Oil Rally Finland, a WRC rally. The University of Jyväskylä boasts Finland’s only Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, as a consequence of which Jyväskylä has emerged as an important centre of sports research.