Venla Hovi Appointed Head Coach Of Metropolitan Riveters

by Justin Levine

NEWARK, NJ -- The Metropolitan Riveters have appointed Venla Hovi as the team’s fourth head coach in franchise history. Hovi succeeds the position filled by Ivo Mocek, who will remain with the franchise as the hockey club’s Associate Head Coach.

“We’re excited to have Venla Hovi as our Head Coach,” said Digit Murphy, President of the Metropolitan Riveters. “She will undoubtedly be the leader our players look up to. As a Finnish Olympic player, Venla has the understanding of what it takes to coach at the elite level in women’s hockey.”

Hovi has been involved at various levels of the game for over 15 years and most recently spent two seasons with the Female U17 Prep team in the Okanagan Hockey Academy between 2020-22. She spent both campaigns behind the bench as Head Coach after time with True North, where she served full-time as Jets Hockey Development on-ice instructor. Now after nearly three decades in both women's and girls hockey, Hovi says the opportunity to continue growing the game is what led her to the Riveters.

“It's a phenomenal career opportunity for myself,” said the Rivs new bench boss. "I want to grow, I want to challenge myself and help the game, and I don’t think there’s a better position out there for myself right now where I can do all those things. I want to learn and grow and make the game better at the top level.”

A passion project combining hockey with mentoring, Hovi founded VH Hockey in 2020, which operates in Finland, providing training camps and clinics to the next generation of athletes. She did so after hanging up the skates, which then led her to Manitoba, where she joined the Bisons Women’s Hockey Program as an assistant coach. Being her introduction to coaching, Hovi was inspired by her players to start her own business that caters to the stars of tomorrow.

While launching the company and compiling a clientele, Hovi landed her second full-time coaching job, as she made the move across Canada to Okanagan Valley, BC. There, Hovi led the U17 Prep team, which competed in the U18 division of the Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL). Finishing her second year behind the bench with them, Hovi, a female hockey ambassador, is continuing in her pursuit to stay involved and help grow the game.

Before Hovi got into coaching, the 34-year-old led a successful playing career that spanned 17 seasons, both internationally and professionally. Representing her country for the first time in 2003, Hovi quickly became a household name before taking home her first medal at the 2008 IIHF Women’s World Championship.

Having been just the first of numerous career accolades, the Tampere native went on to compile six medals, including two bronze at the Winter Olympics, three bronze at the Women’s World Championship, while also adding a silver to her resume.

Looking to prolong her career at the highest level, Hovi opted to return to North America, joining the Calgary Inferno in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. Playing a single season after a three-year tenure in U SPORTS, which included a Golden Path Trophy, Hovi helped the organization to a Clarkson Cup championship in the league's final season.

Eager to get going with the Riveters at a time of rapid growth, Hovi can’t wait to make her mark at the professional level.

“I am excited to be part of creating a professional product that comes from doing the little things right on a daily basis including the staff and players,” she remarked. “I want to have an environment that is fun to come to work to, and where everyone can feel like home. That is the building base that will allow for growth to happen. I am looking forward to getting to work.”

The Metropolitan Riveters would like to thank Ivo Mocek for his three years of service as the hockey club’s bench boss.

“We are so excited to have Ivo Mocek back as our Associate Head Coach,” added Murphy. “Ivo’s contribution as an ally to the women’s hockey world is unmatched. He is selflessly committed to the women’s game.”