“Greetings from the 1990s,” boomed the announcer’s voice at the start of the game. Tonight’s match was a fun one: Ilves came into the game looking for another victory after winning against rival Tappara, and SaiPa who is almost out of the playoff contention sought for points to snatch away from the Tampere team. But also, the game was 90s themed. The players wore retro jerseys colored yellow, green, and white whose design was modeled after the jerseys from the 1989-1991 seasons. The arena’s music was all about the 90s as the playlist was compiled of songs that were released and played in the arena in the 90s. There were songs by the Spice Girls, Darude, and Cher among others. Ilves introduced the team in a video inspired by the TV show Friends. The dancers wore different 90s inspired outfits from Barbie shirts and yoga pants to denim jackets and scrunchies.
The game was entertaining, and Ilves controlled the momentum throughout it. Ilves had several amazing chances to score, from Eemeli Suomi’s dangles in the second period to the three odd man rushes during a SaiPa powerplay in the third. A few fights broke out to the delight of the crowd, too. In my opinion, one of the best moments of the night was the “Kuka voittaa?” (“Who’s going to win?”) chant. One person shouts the question and the crowd answers “Ilves!”. The answers gradually got louder and louder, and although the SaiPa fans tried to counteract with responding “SaiPa!”, the Ilves chant was almost deafening in the end. Ilves scored a goal in every period and secured the three points with a 3–0 home win. They also amassed over a hundred points in a season for the first time in the club’s history. The team and the fans alike have a lot to celebrate.
So, in the spirit of the 90s theme night and the celebratory feeling the victory left us in, I will also write something different but lighthearted and fun. I will assign theme songs to the goal scorers and three stars of the game below. Naturally, all the songs are hits from the 90s.
Lukáš Dostál played an amazing game yet again and earned himself a shutout and first star of the night. Dostál has been diligently studying Finnish. So, to honor his hard work, I chose him a nice, peaceful Finnish song. Neon 2 and their song “Kemiaa” were favorites of many in the 90s just as Dostál is a fan favorite player now.
Joona Ikonen showcased his speed and passing ability in the game against SaiPa. Ikonen was the second star of the night and Ilves’ fastest skater. Therefore, I chose AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”. It is fast-paced and leaves a great first impression on the listener just as Ikonen continues to play a fast and an impressive game from night to night.
Antti Saarela was the third star. His strengths include good hockey IQ, stick handling, and an energetic play style. He’s also one of the team’s youngest players, so I assigned him a song with a little youth rebellion feel in it: the renowned 90s classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.
Jasse Ikonen scored the game’s first goal. He is one of the team’s oldest players, born in 1990, and therefore he helps the younger guys by sharing his experiences. I wanted a classic song with meaningful lyrics for him, so I chose “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. The song is about nightmares, so in this context it could signify a father helping his children cope or giving someone (the opposing team) nightmares. Whichever interpretation works so the choice is yours!
Oskari Laaksonen was the second goal scorer. He is a skilled defenseman who likes to listen to rap according to Ilves’ Twitter account. He was born in 1999, and that’s why I chose him a hip hop song from the same year, “Freestyler” by Bomfunk MC’s.
Panu Mieho, the man with the glorious moustache, scored the third goal of the game when Ilves was shorthanded. His teammates have described him as funny and someone who often cracks jokes. That’s why I selected “All star” by Smash Mouth since it’s a funny song but has a nice meaning.
With all that said, pick a hype song for yourself among these or a choose one of your own and get excited for the playoffs in a few weeks!