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Team Finland
Aaron McCracken
February 13th, 2002

Strengths

A well-rounded, technically sound team that seems to always be strong in international competitions. The team is expected to play a smart, defensive game and will rely on standouts like Teemu Selanne and Sami Kapanen to produce most of their offence. Most of the Finnish players have extensive international hockey experience, and this will be to their advantage when playing the North American teams.

NO.   PLAYER   Pos.   Ht.   Wt.   Birth Date   Team 
4 Kimmo Timonen D 5'10 196 3/18/75 Nashville (NHL)
5 Sami Salo D 6'3 215 9/2/74 Ottawa (NHL)
6 Ossi Vaananen D 6'4 205 8/18/80 Phoenix (NHL)
7 Aki-Petteri Berg D 6'3 215 7/28/77 Toronto (NHL)
8 Teemu Selanne RW 6'0 201 7/3/70 San Jose (NHL)
10 Ville Nieminen LW 6'0 200 4/6/77 Colorado (NHL)
12 Olli Jokinen C 6'3 208 12/5/78 Florida (NHL)
14 Raimo Helminen C 6'0 185 3/11/64 Ilves Tampere
16 Niklas Hagman LW 6'0 190 12/5/79 Florida (NHL)
17 Tomi Kallio LW 6'0 190 1/27/77 Atlanta (NHL)
21 Jyrki Lumme D 6'1 209 7/16/66 Toronto (NHL)
22 Mikko Eloranta LW 6'0 190 8/24/72 Boston (NHL)
24 Sami Kapanen LW 5'10 180 6/14/73 Carolina (NHL)
26 Jere Lehtinen LW 6'0 200 6/24/73 Dallas (NHL)
27 Teppo Numminen D 6'2 199 7/3/68 Phoenix (NHL)
30 Pasi Nurminen G 5'10 189 12/17/75 Chicago (AHL)
31 Jussi Markkanen G 5'11 183 5/8/75 Edmonton (NHL)
35 Jani Hurme G 6'0 187 1/7/75 Ottawa (NHL)
36 Juha Ylönen C 6'1 189 2/13/72 Tampa Bay (NHL)
37 Jarkko Ruutu LW 6'2 194 8/23/75 Vancouver (NHL)
41 Antti Aalto C 6'2 210 3/4/75 Jokerit (Finland)
42 Juha Lind LW 5'11 180 1/2/74 Sodertalje SK
44 Janne Niinimaa D 6'1 220 5/22/75 Edmonton (NHL)

Weaknesses

Finland won't dominate any one aspect of the game. Their forwards & defence are only average compared to other teams, and their goaltending may be the weakest of the 'Big 6' teams. Jani Hurme is expected to start in goal, and he'll need to be exceptionally strong to compete against the likes of Hasek and Khabibulin.

History

The Fins are coming off consecutive bronze medals in Nagano and Lillehammer – however, they've never won Olympic gold.

Flames Players/Prospects

None. Jukka Hentunen and Toni Lydman were not offered spots on the team.

Keys to Victory

Finland will need a solid two-way effort from everyone on the team if they hope to repeat as medallists in Salt Lake City. Since they don't have the type of players that can individually make a big difference, they'll need to rely on teamwork and offensive production from all of their lines. Jani Hurme will also need to prove that he can play with the big boys and win key games if Finland hopes to pull off an upset in the medal round.

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