On June 19, Lukko and TPS Black U16 faced each other in a preseason game in Rauma. The game was tied at 3-3 heading into the third period, but Lukko was able to strike in the final ten minutes of the period and scored two goals to seal the win. Even though this was an early summer game ahead of the 2021-22 season, both teams competed and battled hard, and the game had pretty good pace in it. There were several strong individual performances, with most of the standouts being on the Lukko team. Here are quick notes on three players who were noticeable in this game.
#10 Samuli Suominen, Forward, Lukko: Suominen played well at both ends of the ice and showed good read-and-react abilities. A solid skater with good balance, he moved up and down the ice effectively and with urgency. The center was good at face-offs, provided support to his teammates and had situational toughness. His hands were quick and his ability to create offensive opportunities was noteworthy.
#3 Atte Haapanen, Defenseman, Lukko: Haapanen is a smaller defenseman who showed confidence and skill with the puck. He could carry the puck well and used weight shifts and quick cutbacks to create more space to operate in. He was eager to join the rush when the opportunity presented itself and his passing was crisp and precise on the breakout.
#22 Kasper Pikkarainen, Forward TPS Black: Pikkarainen is a right-shot winger who wasn’t as consistent as Haapanen and Suominen, but there were several moments when his passing skills stood out significantly. Especially his set up on one of TPS goals was a very nice one. He has good size, solid puck skills and will be one to watch next season.
Cover photo: TPS06 Black U15 (Youtube)