Game preview: Nordmen vs Goats

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A nice, away win in rainy Kajaani against the Farmers gives the home team a great boost for this week’s home match-up against the Goats.

After a hard-fought, overwhelming victory against the Milky City Farmers, the Rovaniemi Nordmen are ready for their second home game of the season against the visiting Karleby Goats from Kokkola. The Warriors of the Four Winds have completed all of their away games for the regular season and will be staying home for the next two weeks of play. The first of these two match-ups, see the Nordmen face off against the winless Goats. The away team will need to dig deep into their bag of tricks if they hope to put up a solid fight for the W, this weekend.

What to expect from the Goats

The Goats are currently sitting in last place in Group A with a 0-3 record. This, however, doesn’t give the full picture of their season to this point. The Goats are not to be underestimated, as they were close to beating the undefeated Northern Lights, but fell just short, a little under a month ago in Oulu. Like a few other teams, the Goats don’t have a real standout player, but they are still a very solid, steady group. Looking at their roster, they have a young and athletic team; which makes them ripe with potential and capable of surprising the Rovaniemi with their athletic abilities.

This year, the Goats have a new head coach, HC Tomi Hämäläinen who has been around Finnish football for decades. Coach Hämäläinen is no stranger to the Nordmen; in fact, he has been the HC of the Nordmen in the past. Coach Hämäläinen is a well-known person in Rovaniemi football and his coaching mentality and system is no stranger to the Nordmen’s seasoned veterans. The home team might benefit of this knowledge, unless Hämäläinen has some aces up his sleeve to mix it up. This road goes both ways, and he definitely has some knowledge for the Nordmen, too; especially when it comes to which players need to be marked. Look forward to a tough match-up between some old friends and many fresh faces on Saturday.

What to expect from the Nordmen

The Nordmen offense has changed slightly from the start of the season. The past few games, the offensive line has been a force to be reckoned with and has rebuked the doubters, as they have proved that they can do some serious damage to opposing defenses; especially on the ground. The run game has come along nicely, with the offensive line making gaps for the rookie WR/RB Miika Virkki, who has been virtually impossible to contain in recent weeks. Virkki is averaging over a 100 yards per game behind his O-line; turning the Nordmen into a double-headed monster. Rookie RT Sami Rautiainen and G Erique “Mr. Donuts” Burgal have gelled well with the Nordmen’s veteran OL, including LT Jani Turunen, G Elmeri Sillman, G/C Taneli Koskenniemi & C Teijo Keränen. With the return of Rookie RB Aleksi Vaarala, expect to see some fresh legs and intense quickness out of the Nordmen on the ground.

It can’t always be rainbows and unicorns, though, as the passing game suffered a major loss last week losing WR Alfonso Ikäheimo, likely for the remainder of the season. A massive blow, but one that has opened up the door for former NDU Black Knights WR Antti Pokela to step into the starting lineup and show what he’s got. Pokela, along with tall and strong WR Aki Gröhn, will seek to fill the enormous shoes left by Ikäheimo’s absence. Look for both of these fellas to make a big impact from the start with their physical blocking and crisp routes.

Important Info

Sponsored by Arctic TreeHouse Hotel and Rakas Restaurant & Bar, this home game will see an extra special raffle prize – a night for two at the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel and breakfast at Rakas Restaurant! A package valued at over 300€, raffle tickets will be sold for 5€ each and are limited to 100 tickets, in total. All proceeds from this raffle will go to supporting the Nordmen.

Kick-off is at 4pm, Saturday July 16th at Susivouti. Additional information can be found in our Facebook event.Tickets are 7€ for adults; 5€ for students, retirees and civil service/military members & under 17 is free, season tickets can also be bought at the game (25€). 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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