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Riikka  Nieminen-Välilä

Born: June 12, 1973 in Jyväskylä, Finland

Riikka Nieminen represented Finland in 118 national team games scoring amazing 109 goals, 95 assists and 204 points with only 24 minutes in penalties. She sprung to international fame by winning the scoring title in the first Olympic ice hockey tournament with womens participation. While leading Finland to a bronze medal in Nagano, in 1998, Nieminen scored seven goals and five assists in just six games. She was one of the first womens hockey players from Europe whose individual skills fully equaled her rivals from Canada and the United States.

Nieminen played in three IIHF Womens European Championships and four IIHF World Womens Championships, and in 2002 she took part in her second Olympic Winter Games, in Salt Lake City. Apart from the Olympic bronze, she led Finland to three European Championship titles and four IIHF World Womens Championship bronze medals.

Additionally, Nieminen played for several years in the Finnish Womens Hockey League, notably with Etelä-Vantaan Urheilijat (EVU), Keravan Shakers, KalPa, JYP and JyHC playing 116 games. In all, she amassed 179 goals and 163 assists for a total of 342 points.

Riikka Nieminen continued her career in Switzerland with SC Lyss and HC Limhamn in Sweden. She led her teams to four Finnish championship titles and one bronze medal and was inducted into the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.

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