Finnish forward Venla Hovi, only a day removed from Finland’s shocking silver medal finish on home ice at the 2019 Women’s World Championship, announced her retirement on Twitter at age 31, capping a year of both Worlds silver and a Clarkson Cup.
Hovi, joined her hometown Ilves’ senior team in 2003, spending five seasons there before spending stints with HPK and KalPa, winning two league titles with Ilves (2006, 2010) and one with HPK (2011). In 2015 she committed to the University of Manitoba, spending three seasons with the Bisons and winning a national championship in 2018. She headed farther west to join the CWHL’s Calgary Inferno in 2018, becoming the first (and potentially last) Finn to win the Clarkson Cup as part of the Inferno’s 2019 championship team, which following the CWHL’s shutdown may be the final Clarkson champions ever.
Internationally, Hovi joined the Naisleijonat at the 2007 World Championship, playing for Finland at eight World Championships and three Olympics. capturing two Olympic bronze medals (2010, 2018), three World Championship bronzes (2008, 2009, 2017) and her most recent silver to cap her career, in addition to a Four Nations Cup silver (2013) and four bronzes (2015-18). Hovi finishes with 199 caps on the national team, notching 28 goals and 75 points over her 12 year international career.
With the Finnish women’s team only having held the IHLC four times in history, Hovi has the unique distinction of being a member of all four wins, with wins in 2008, in both February and August 2009, and Finland’s most recent IHLC in 2011. We wish Venla and her family the very best for her retirement and the things to come!