LIVESTREAM Finland: Helsinki Roosters @ Helsinki Wolverines, Aug. 27, 18:30 EEST (17:30 CET, 11:30 ET)

Thursday August 27th kicks off the final week of the Finnish Maple League’s regular season. Thursday’s game is especially intriguing as the defending champion Helsinki Roosters will visit their cross-town rivals the Helsinki Wolverines.

This game is crucial with three teams tied at 2-2 – the Roosters and Wolverines and Seinäjoki Crocodiles – and fighting for the final two playoff spot. The Crocodiles will face the winless Porvoon Butchers this weekend as well in the final regular season game of the year.

Crocodiles win puts them in the playoffs. A loss ties them with the loser of the Wolverines-Roosters game. If the Roosters lose and the Crocodiles lose, the Crocodiles move on since they beat the Roosters in the regular season. If the Wolverines lose and the Crocodiles lose then the Wolverines advance to the semifinals since they defeated Seinäjoki in the regular season.

The Helsinki Roosters are coming off of their most impressive win of the season. The Roosters blew out the previously undefeated Wasa Royals last week 49-13. Helsinki was aided by two new offensive players, running back Mike Gentili and wide receiver Kimi Linnainmaa. Gentili is an Italian American player who last played for the Lazio Ducks in Italy while Linnaimaa is a homegrown Rooster who was part of the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League. These two new players accounted for 345 yards of offense and four touchdowns in last week’s win. The Roosters offense was humming, totaling 491 yards on the day. It’s safe to say that this Roosters offense is playing inspired football especially with two new dynamic playmakers. Look for the Roosters offense to have another big day against the Wolverines.

Helsinki Roosters @ Helsinki Wolverines, Aug. 27, 18:30 EEST (17:30 CET, 11:30 ET)

Defensively, the Roosters played their best game of the season last week. The swarming Roosters defense unit held the Royals dynamic offense to only 278 yards. Credit has to be given to the Roosters defensive backs who played well against a potent Royals passing attack holding opposing quarterback Brandon Gwinner to under 100 yards passing. The Roosters defense also forced three fumbles on the day which helped them put the game away in the third quarter. Roosters Ville-Valtteri Suojanen who had four tackles and a forced fumble had some thoughts on the Wolverines matchup:

“The Wolverines have a very talented group on offense, so we need to be on our best again. They have a lot of playmakers who are very dangerous with the ball, so our tackling has to be on point.”

For the visiting Wolverines their regular season has been filled with soaring highs and crashing lows. But the resilient squad has some momentum coming off of an dominant 41-20 win against the Porvoo Butchers. Last week, the Wolverines offense put up 451 yards most of which came from quarterback Chris Forcier. Forcier threw for 209 yards and ran for 142 and accounted for four total touchdowns. His favorite target was league leading receiver Sebastian Sagne, who had 162 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions. Look for Sagne to be targeted early and often against the Roosters. A new wrinkle for the Wolverines was getting receiver Micky Kyei involved in the run game. Kyei proved to be a weapon on the ground racking up 85 yards rushing and a touchdown. Wolverines head coach Mike Mattingly had some thoughts after last week’s win:

“We have the lovely rooster coming up next, it should be a tough battle we know they will be ready. But playoffs are on the line and we get to play at home. It’s all very exciting for us. Hopefully we are ready to go come next Thursday.”

Defensively, the Wolverines bounced back against Porvoo for after a terrible week three showing where they gave up 70 points. They will need to force some turnovers and slow down the Roosters rushing attack if they want to come out with a win this week. Look for Swedish defensive lineman Benjamin Egbudiwe to play well this week after a solid five tackle and sack showing against the Butchers.

Thursday night features one of the best matchups in Europe as everything is on the line for both teams heading into the final game of the regular season. The Wolverines are a talented team that needs to show consistency while the Roosters seem to be trending in a positive direction after two straight wins. Look for this rivalry game to filled with emotion and big plays.

Watch the game live here. Helsinki Roosters @ Helsinki Wolverines, Aug. 27, 18:30 EEST (17:30 CET, 11:30 ET)

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Helsinki Roosters starting lineup and roster

Helsinki Wolverines starting lineup and roster

 

Alex Malchow
Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football stories from across the globe.
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