IFK claimed its seventh SM-liiga championship in 2011. The championship was the first in 13 years and was a special one since the majority of the players had a background with IFK junior teams. IFK is the BEST known sports brand in Finland and stands for a certain type of aggressive game that the team has left its mark upon. IFK has participated in the European Trophy both in 2010 and 2011 but has been left outside the final rounds on both times and is looking to change that. The man to lead the team to Red Bull Salute is IFK´s new head coach Pasi Sormunen, an assistant coach from last year. Sormunen has a background in IFK as player and a junior coach and is looking to bring back the essence of IFK-hockey to the game with his assistant wizard Antti Pennanen.
IFK started previous season as a reigning champion and was THE team to beat. The roster was probably one of the best in the history of SM-league but the team crashed and burned on the first playoff-round. That left its mark to the team that is coming back with vengeance.
The fan favorite: Ilari Melart
Throughout the years IFK has had many players that have enjoyed the admiration of the fans. The list is long and distinguished but this year´s pick for the fan favorite is used to hearing his name on the games when entering the penalty box. Ilari Melart, a defender who appears like a weight train, plays good solid game, shoots hard and keeps the opponent on its toes whenever he´s on the ice. “Keep your head up!”
Interesting new signing: Iiro Pakarinen
IFK signed a handful of interesting players but the one to watch is power forward Iiro Pakarinen. A fast skating winger who shoots from the right claimed to score 20 goals this year and is definitely on the verge of making the big headlines this season.European Trophy