Tenacious Tappara and the Puck of Destiny

Victories in Ice Hockey and Zamboni Driving

Kiitos Tappara! Kiitos Tappara!

The crowd chanted this after Tappara’s massive 3-1 victory over the number one ranked ice hockey team in Finland, Kärpät. It was the only chant I actually understood, and I gleefully shouted along with the rest of the elated fans.

Tappara is one of Tampere’s ice hockey teams. Ice hockey is quite popular here especially with Finland being the defending world champions. The two teams from Tampere, Tappara and Ilves, are ranked number two and number three, respectively. So, it should come as no surprise that Tappara beating the number one ranked team from Oulu is very exciting news. It should also come as no surprise that this was my first hockey game.

I am so glad we get to spend so many firsts together. Before you know it, we will be an old couple with the only first left in sight is the first time I take one of those chair lifts up and down the staircase, which, by the way, will make for riveting blog content.

the content makes itself.

There is a massive untapped blog market with the elderly, and I plan on pandering to this market aggressively. Get ready for next week’s blog which will focus on back pain and caramel candies, but in the meantime, I’ll keep talking about my firsts. I have seen many hockey games on TV, but never in-person. It’s way better in-person. Do people know about this? We should tell them; sports or life in general is better in-person. Look at me, just giving out free, life-changing advice. I’m such a giver. I’m just like that tree. You know, the one that gave until it was a stump. I want to be your stump. This is getting a bit too romantic so let’s talk about hockey. Yeah, sports!

I arrived at the game a little bit late because I am occasionally known to be late from time to time. Shortly after arriving, Tappara scored their first of many goals, which means I am a good luck charm (I could also be a fruity good luck pebble. I’m just looking for cereal based sponsors). The atmosphere was thrilling, and I was immediately indoctrinated as a die-hard fan. My passion only increased once we (yeah, I said “we,” I’m a true fan, remember) scored our second goal. The only aspect of goal scoring I did not like was the flag waving directly in front of me. Everyone who knows me knows I am all for waving flags, but it was definitely in the way of my view and expert camera work for the vlog I made, which you can view at the end of the article. I know you are all completely distracted about the big video, yet make sure to finish reading this article first; reading is very good for you just like apples or exercise.

Personally, I slice them a bit differently.

One thing that is not good for anyone is when Kärpät scores, which they did towards the end of the first period.

With the first period done and a one goal lead for Tappara, I was ready to enjoy the activities in between periods. There were t-shirt cannons, cheerleaders picking up what appeared to be dozens of hockey pucks for seemingly no reason, youth teams shooting goals, and–most importantly–the all-powerful Zamboni. I was enthralled with the marvelous Zamboni; the way it gracefully danced across the ice in a mesmerizing pattern rivaled only by world-class figure skaters. The majestic Zamboni spiraled around the ring until it had more than achieved its task of masterfully preparing the ice atop which the players would gleefully glide. And glide they did as Tappara extended the lead to 3-1 which we held onto for the rest of the game.

I would consider my first hockey game a roaring success. Next time, for the perfect experience, I just need to catch a t-shirt and sit further away from Mr. flag waver. As a reward for your reading, here’s a fun video. You earned it.

My name is Dillon and this is my weekly blog as I explore Tampere’s culture while working with the Tampere Region 2026 team during my semester abroad at Tampere University. The Tampere region is currently applying to be the European Capital of Culture in 2026 which is wonderful timing since I love capitals and culture.