Game preview: Nordmen vs. Eagles

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After a rocky start to the 2021 season, the Rovaniemi Nordmen look to turn things around with their home opener this Saturday at Susivouti.

Growing pains. Everyone has had them, at some point in their lives. Making the move from the SAJL’s 2nd Division to the 1st Division, sure brought on a lot of growing pains for the Rovaniemi Nordmen. A 1-4 inaugural campaign saw the Nordmen fall short of making the playoffs, but gave them the experiences needed to see what it takes to compete in the 1st Division, going forward. Off-season moves and improvements had many thinking that the Nordmen could be a sleeper in the 1st Division this year, and although they’ve started their season off 0-2, there’s still a lot of football left to play in 2021 for the Warriors of the Four Winds. They’ll look to prove that when the Kotka Eagles arrive at Susivouti on Saturday; their longest road game of the season.

What to expect from the Eagles

When Niclas “Nesi” Carpelan went under the knife during the off-season, the entire 1st Division collectively let out a deep, long sigh of relief. Turns out, we should have all held our breath. The ageless wonder, Nesi is back at the helm of the Eagles and seems to be comfortable after his operation. His counterpart, Niko Hannula, has also played very well at the QB position for Kotka; but we’ll see who gets more playing time in Rovaniemi. If it gets tight, expect to see Nesi chucking the pigskin.

A lot is made of Carpelan’s ability and leadership on the offense, but the Eagles defense is not to be overlooked at all. LB/DB Roy Kämppi is a beast and one of the best defensive secondary players in the 1st Division, but it’s up front where the Kotka defense gets their start with American Kaleb Wezdenko. You could say that Wezdenko brings the pressure and Kämppi brings the pain. Look for both of them to be the main concerns for the Nordmen offense.

What to expect from the Nordmen

Rovaniemi has been playing a game of QB musical chairs to this point in the season. Would-be HC/QB Stan Bedwell never made it to Rovaniemi after his successful stint in The Spring League and his replacement was in Rovaniemi long enough to see the sights before moving on for a shot in the European League of Football. As such, Danish Wide Receiver, Jens Ole Kaae has picked up the slack and done his best to guide the Nordmen during their first two games. Jens has been a baller and has served admirably at the QB position, but whispers around the North tell of a new man taking the snaps for the Nordmen.

The return of Petri Korhonen to the Rovaniemi Defense is great news for the front seven. Nordmen up-and-comer Onni Kärki is in his second season and is looking to prove himself as one of the best DB’s in the 1st Division. Taneli “Magic Mike” Koskenniemi seems to have stopped the clock, as the experienced O-lineman is still as quick and strong as ever. Rookie WR Aki Gröhn has developed and improved tremendously over just the first two games, as has fellow rookie LB Ville Yliniemi.

Look for the Nordmen to be much better on the offensive side of the ball in this game.

Important Info

Kick-off is at 5pm, Saturday July 17th at Susivouti. Additional information can be found in our Facebook event. Tickets are 10€ for adults; 5€ for juniors (13-17) & under 13 is free. For directions to Susivoudin kenttä, follow this link. Food, refreshments and fan gear will be available for purchase at the snack bar.

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