Finland: Early season favorites starting to emerge as Maple League hits one third mark

In Finland, the Maple League is one third of the way through the 2022 season and the playoff contenders are beginning to truly emerge.

The fifth weekend of play features a trio of games that will start to separate the contenders from the rest of the league.

Thursday, June 16

Helsinki Wolverines (2-1) @ Helsinki Roosters (2-2)

Starting the football weekend off is a classic rivalry game between the two clubs from Helsinki. The Wolverines currently have given up the fewest points out of any team in the league and are coming off a 76-7 demolition of the Kotkan Eagles. Meanwhile, their cross-town rival, the Roosters, are at a 2-2 start at the moment and are hoping that this home game against the Wolverines will be the catalyst to get them back into championship contention yet again.

Watch the game live on Helsinki Wolverines (2-1) @ Helsinki Roosters (2-2), June 16, 17:30 CET (5:30 pm, 11:30 am ET)

Friday, June 17

Seinäjoki Crocodiles (2-1) @ Kotka Eagles (0-3)

On Friday evening, the Seinäjoki Crocodiles should have an easy time of it against a Kotka Eagles squad that seem to be out of their depth this year. Although the Crocodiles have given up more points than they have scored, they are coming off a huge win over the Roosters in which they held the lead from the beginning to the end. Meanwhile, Kotka has been blown out in all three of their games.

Watch the game live on Seinäjoki Crocodiles @ Kotka Eagles, Friday, June 17, 17:30 CET (5:30 pm, 11:30 am ET)

Saturday, June 18

United Newland Crusaders (0-3) @ Kuopio Steelers (4-0)

The week closes off with a duel between two total opposites at this point in the season. Much like the Eagles, the Crusaders have been totally outmanned in every game they have played so far this year and need to fight to get one in the win column. As for the Steelers, they are the only undefeated team left standing in the league and seem primed to advance rather quickly to 5-0.

Watch the game live on United Newland Crusaders (0-3) @ Kuopio Steelers (4-0), Saturday, June 18, 15:30 CET (3:30 pm, 09:30 am ET)

A recent graduate of Hofstra University in New York. He is currently a sports freelance journalist and podcaster