Finland adds AHL rookies

Edmonton’s Pitkanen injured while Leipisto, Niskala and Pihlstrom join lions

29.04.2008
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QUEBEC CITY, Canada – Last year’s silver winner Finland has to do without Edmonton Oilers defenceman Joni Pitkanen, who is suffering a knee injury. Head coach Doug Shedden has nominated three AHL players.

Finland had another roster subtraction with Pekka Saravo, who was released from the trainings camp. Three players of the second-tier league AHL were added with World Championship rookies Sami Lepisto, Janne Niskala and Antti Pihlstrom, whose teams were eliminated in the first Calder Cup series.

The two former are both defenders. Lepisto, 23, played 60 games (4 goals, 43 Assists) for the Hershey Bears and also wore the Washington Capitals jersey for seven NHL games.

Niskala, 26, had his first season in North America playing 86 AHL games (19 goals, 26 assists) for the Milwaukee Admirals. Before, he was playing as a hockey pro in four countries – Finland, Great Britain, Switzerland and last season in Sweden.

Niskalas team-mate, left winger Pihlstrom, 23, had also his rookie season in the AHL with the Admirals after four years in the top-tier Finnish league. He scored 28 goals and 18 assists in 84 AHL games and had also an NHL game with the Nashville Predators.

Click here for preliminary rosters of the participating nations.

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