After Rauman Luko gave up his place in the league, HIFK would have had the opportunity to raise his academy team to the highest league level.
There will probably be one less team playing in the Ice Hockey Women’s League next season than last season. Ten teams participated in the series in the 2022–2023 season.
Rauman Lukko announced at the end of April that it will withdraw from the Women’s League.
– Assembling the team has been challenging for several seasons, and now Lukko has to give up a place in the series due to the small number of players, the club announced.
Lukko’s season was sluggish in terms of results. The team that finished second last in the regular season lost 30 of their 36 matches and had to defend their place in the qualifying series.
The last two teams of the Women’s League and the top two teams of the Women’s Mestizo will play in the qualifying series. The two best in the qualifying series will play at the highest level the following season.
The team from Rauma finished second in the qualifying series after the second league team RoK and kept their place in the league. Left behind were the academy teams of HIFK and Kiekko-Espoo, who play in Mestis.
However, Lukko will not play in the SM league next season, so according to the rules, the next in line would be HIFK’s academy, which finished third in the qualifying series, Pirkka Antila tells.
– HIFK and Kiekko-Espoo have both announced that they do not want to promote the academy team to the SM series, so we are not offering them a place. There was no desire to go up, and we don’t force anyone there.
Within the framework of the rules, the representative and academy teams of the same club could play in the women’s championship series, Antila says.
A place in the league is not offered to the team that finished third in the Mestis regular season, so next season there will probably be nine teams playing in the SM series.
The registration period for the Women’s League ends on May 15.