LIVESTREAM Finland: Kotka Eagles @ Helsinki Roosters, May 19, 17:30 CET (5:30 pm, 11:30 am ET)

The Helsinki Roosters (0-1) will welcome the newly promoted Kotka Eagles to the Helsinki Velodrome Thursday, May 19 as Finland’s Maple League enters its first full week of the 2022 season.

The Roosters actually kicked off the season this past weekend when the defending champion Kuopio Steelers paid a visit and beat them up 49-20. For the Eagles, this will be their first game ever in Finland’s top league.

Helsinki head coach Juha Hakala will have Bryce Stancombe (Indianapolis University, NCAA DII) at quarterback. In last week’s outing against the Steelers, the 25-year-old threw for 221 yards and three touchdowns with Aymeric Nicault of France catching five of those passes for 103 yards and a touchdown and Santtuu Vehkomaki hauling in six for 50 yards and another score. Expect Stancombe to target those two again. However, the Roosters struggled on the ground rushing for only 55 yards. In fact, Nicault was their second leading ground gainer with five carries for 22 yards. He was only topped by Aaku Mikkonen who had seven carries for 23 yards. The Roosters will no doubt be looking for ways to improve their ground game.

Kotka Eagles @ Helsinki Roosters, May 19, 17:30 CET (5:30 pm, 11:30 am ET)

Defensively, Helsinki will have almost the same starting lineup as against Kuopio with the possible exception of cornerback Emory Polley joining the team after missing the opening game. If he is still not ready to go, Eemeli Tuominen

Kotka enters the game with a proven veteran at quarterback, Chris Forcier. The last time Forcier took the field against the Roosters was in 2020 when he was the signal caller for the Helsinki Wolverines and defeated the Roosters 32-20 to eliminate them from playoff contention. The savvy quarterback, who has spent almost a decade playing throughout Europe, brings a lot of speed to complement his strong arm. He ran a 4.39 40 coming out of Furman University. He will have as his prime receivers Veeti Kiviluoma, Veikko Langi, Miro Aarrevuo and Ysufa Lehtinen. Running back Ville Hämäläinen fills out the rest of the backfield.

Eagles head coach Charlie Ovey will have Jamarcus Henderson anchoring the defensive line. The former SAC All Star was a standout with the Cottbus Crayfish in Germany in 2021.

The Roosters badly need a win this early in the season while Kotka will go into this game wanting to prove they belong in Finland’s top league.

Watch the game live. Kotka Eagles @ Helsinki Roosters, May 19, 17:30 CET (5:30 pm, 11:30 am ET)




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