Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA) Penticton General Manager Scott May announced today that Venla Hovi has been named the Head Coach of the OHA Female U17 Prep team.
“We are very excited to add Venla to our coaching staff,” said May. “She brings a wealth of experience at the highest levels of women’s hockey and is someone that brings the characteristics and ideas around culture that are in line with the vision of Okanagan Hockey.”
Hovi will join OHA after spending this past season as an assistant coach with the University of Manitoba Women’s Hockey team, as well as an on-ice instructor with Jets Hockey Development.
“It’s a true pleasure and honour to join Okanagan Hockey,” said Hovi. “I am looking forward to meeting all the staff and students and I am determined to create a culture that provides every student athlete an opportunity to develop in a fun and challenging environment.”
Prior to coaching, Hovi enjoyed an illustrious playing career that saw her play at the international, professional and collegiate levels.
She represented Finland at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics, winning the bronze medal in 2010 and 2018. She played in eight World Championships, winning silver in 2019 and bronze in 2008, 2009 and 2017.
The Tampere, Finland product spent one season in the NCAA with Niagara University prior to playing seven years professionally in Finland and Denmark. She returned to the collegiate ranks in 2015, attending and playing for the University of Manitoba, where she won a national championship in 2018, before spending one season with the Calgary Inferno, where she helped her team win the Canadian Women’s Hockey League championship.
Hovi graduated with a B.A., Journalism from Voionmaa College in 2012, a B.A., Communications from University of Vaasa in 2017 and a Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Post-Graduate Degree from the University of Manitoba in 2018.
She was inducted in the University of Manitoba’s Hockey Hall of Fame this past January.
The OHA Female U17 Prep team will compete in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League’s Female U18 Prep Division.
OHA helped shape the person I am today in an abundance of ways. The training regime and on-ice practice went a long way in helping me achieve my set goals in hockey, while making the jump to the next level attainable. Ultimately, it was the lessons I learned off the ice that have shaped me the most. From learning to balance school with hockey, to building character and unity with my team. All in all, OHA was the best decision to not only further my hockey career, but also to further myself as a person."