Laine Lowers Boom On Canada

ERKKI LAINE, a member of both the 1984 and 1988 Finnish Olympic teams, was the top goal-scorer in Sweden's elite league for IF Leksands in 1980-81 and BK Farjestad Karlstad in 1984-85. Laine also led Finland's second division in goals for Reipas Lahti during the 1975-76 season.

ERKKI LAINE, a member of both the 1984 and 1988 Finnish Olympic teams, was the top goal-scorer in Sweden's elite league for IF Leksands in 1980-81 and BK Farjestad Karlstad in 1984-85. Laine also led Finland's second division in goals for Reipas Lahti during the 1975-76 season.

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A solitary goal versus Poland on in the opening match and struggles to score against Switzerland on their second outing should have served as some kind of warning CANADA were fit to be taken as the host nation faced-off with FINLAND on the third day of Group B round-robin play at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary.

The Finns, themselves, had actually stumbled against the Swiss in a 2-1 loss on opening day. This result left Finland feeling a bit behind the eight-ball, perhaps, in a B pool which also included the medal contenders from Sweden.

And so, it was a Swedish elite league player, ERKKI LAINE (17) of BK Farjestad Karlstad, who came out firing with a pair of goals in the first period of Finland’s match with Canada :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiQBfGMwcCg

Ex-New York Ranger RAIMO HELMINEN (14) of Ilves Tampere, one of six former NHL players in Finland’s line-up, was the architect of both of Laine’s goals.

Leading the Finnish charge down the right wing on a two-on-one opposed by Canada’s NHL defenseman TIM WATTERS (2) of the Winnipeg Jets, Helminen hands Laine a perfect saucer pass for the right-handed shooting left wing to one-time past SEAN BURKE in the Canadian goal roughly thirteen minutes into the contest.

Less than two minutes later, Helminen again heads a rush, this time on the left, into the Canadian zone and drops the puck to the trailing Laine. The 31-year-old two-time Swedish Elitserien goal-scoring champion, hooked from behind, cuts back into the slot and releases a wrist shot that somehow works its way through the legs of Burke.

Finland added a third goal in the final minute of the first period and never looked back on the road to a critical 3-1 round-robin victory over Canada.

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