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Porvoo Butchers Get Their First Win and the Roosters & Crocodiles Continue to Dominate

Week 3 of the Men's Maple League season is in the books, with the Helsinki Roosters and the Seinäjoki Crocodiles continuing their winning streaks, and the Porvoo Butchers getting their first win of the season. Week 4 brings us interesting matchups with the first Helsinki derby of the season and the Kuopio Steelers coming back from their bye week against the Porvoo Butchers, who are hyped after their long-awaited win. Let's have a look at each team in their power ranking order. 


1 - Seinäjoki Crocodiles (3-0) 

The Seinäjoki Crocodiles continued to dominate the fields with their 37 - 14 win over the Helsinki Wolverines last week. The Crocodiles did not punt once during the game, and Christian Powell ran all over Wolverines defense as he wished. 

Photo Credit: Seinäjoki Crocodiles

Week 4 is the first away game for the Crocodiles this season, as they visit Lohja Crusaders on Friday. I guess we will see if the green magic of this team only applies at Wirokit Stadium, or can the Crocodiles win on other fields as well. Seriously, though, the Lohja Crusaders have not had any control of their games this year, so there would be a lot of surprised football fans throughout the country if the Crocodiles defense could not keep the Crusaders offense in line. 


2 - Helsinki Roosters (3-0) 

The Helsinki Roosters continued their winning campaign in week 3, beating the Lohja Crusaders 63 - 7. Ambro Urjansson and Bryce Nunnelly remained a dangerous passing game duo, with Nunnelly receiving 4 of the team's 8 touchdowns. Another success story of the Roosters offense is Ethan Greenfield with both 1 rushing and receiving touchdown. I have said it before, and will say it again, you cannot mess with Roosters offense, or you lose the game. 

Photo Credit: Laura Helminen

Week 4 marks the first Helsinki derby of the season, as the Roosters face the Wolverines. It seems likely that we will see another great game from Julian Bell, who checked in a whopping 6 solo tackles last week. Also, the Wolverines need to pay attention to their passing game, since the Roosters defense had 3 interceptions last week, and ballhawks like Oskari Toijala and Jaakko Jokinen remain hungry for more picks. 


3 - Kuopio Steelers (2-0) 

Kuopio Steelers started their season victoriously, and had a bye week last week. This week the well-rested Savonians visit the Porvoo Butchers, who are riding high on their first win of the season. The opponent the Steelers face this week is likely quite a bit tougher than those they have defeated before the break. However, I have not forgotten the amazing passing plays by Joshua Taylor we've seen already. Those dimes will be difficult for the Butchers to limit.


Photo Credit: Laura Helminen

4 - Porvoo Butchers (1-2) with comments from Micky Kyei 

The reigning Maple Bowl champs Porvoo Butchers finally got their first win of the season last week with the final score of 50 - 13 against Wasa Royals. One major face of the win was Micky Kyei, who made an amazing one-handed catching td. "We are getting closer together as a team every week, rather than being a bunch of individuals" Kyei said when I asked how the Butchers are feeling after the big win. "Probably the biggest factor was that we, the players, woke up and realized that if we don't up our game there's no dreaming of another championship" he continued. 

Photo Credit: Laura Helminen
"We are getting closer together as a team every week, rather than being a bunch of individuals" 

The week 4 Saturday game shows us if the Butchers, with their newly rediscovered confidence, can handle the undefeated Kuopio Steelers in Porvoo. When asked what the Butchers need to do to maintain the winning course, Micky Kyei kept it short and simple: “We need to remain ourselves as a team and fight our way through the obstacles”. The Butchers’ defense has been defined by the plays of Timi Nuikka and Jesse Vuoksenturja throughout the early season, and now we’ve also had glimpses of the same Zachary Wright we met last year. If the defense can keep up the level we saw last week, they will make a tough opponent for the Kuopio Steelers


5 - Wasa Royals (0-3) 

The beginning of the season has not been gentle on Wasa Royals, and last week’s loss to the Porvoo Butchers must have been painful for the team from Vaasa. The game of football is a team sport in the word’s deepest meaning, and no team can stand on shoulders of only one player, even if that player is Alpha Jalloh. The Royals have a bye week in week 4, and perhaps they can use the time to try and see how the world looks if the ball is given to other players every now and again. 

Photo Credit: Laura Helminen


6 - Helsinki Wolverines (0-2) 

The Helsinki Wolverines started to show some signs of a proper game last week during their loss to the Crocodiles. Unfortuantely, it wasn’t enough. Rasmus Laalo seems tohave found a connection with Sampo Viinamäki & Kevin Adams, and Sebastian Lugora’s rushing has been decent. That level of offense is not enough for the upcoming Helsinki derby and the scary Roosters defense. Things look brighter for the Wolverines defense with a pool of decent tacklers including Alvin Reels Jr and Max Poikonen. If the Wolverines have some good mojo on Thursday, they may be able to put up a good fight against the Roosters

Photo Credit: Laura Helminen


7 - Lohja Crusaders (0-2) 

The Lohja Crusaders need to get their act together in virtually every position. QB Bryce Macina is the one light spot in the mess of mediocrity. The Crusaders had a few decent plays last week against the Roosters, but lacked the finishes and the ball reached the endzone only once, a rushing score by Bryce Macina. This week the Crusaders host the Crocodiles. I’m looking forward to seeing if the Crusaders find a way to pass the ball and give Seinäjoki a challenge. 

Photo Credit: Laura Helminen


Games This Week 

Helsinki Wolverines Helsinki Roosters, Thursday June 6th, at 18:30 

Lohja Crusaders - Seinäjoki Crocodiles, Friday June 7th, at 18:30 

Porvoo Butchers Kuopio Steelers, Saturday June 8th, at 16:30 


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