Player of the Week: Topi Laasko

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Topi Laakso is the nicest, most unassuming kid off the ice; once he laces up his skates and puts on his equipment, he is as fierce of a competitor as anyone, according to Ice Cats hockey Coach Dave Lepage.

A student at Fryeburg Academy, Topi has proven to be one of the best goaltenders in the state. He currently sits atop all other goalies in Class A high school hockey with a goals-against-average of 1.20 and a save percentage of 97% with a record of 4 wins and 1 loss.

Topi has been a major reason why the Lake Region/Fryeburg Academy Ice Cats have enjoyed a successful season and are fighting for a playoff spot in Class A West. With five games to go, the Ice Cats currently hold the final playoff spot. The Cats dropped a tough 3-1 decision to Massabesic over the weekend, as the Mustangs moved closer to the Cats and that final playoff spot.

“Topi just simply goes out and gives our team a chance to win against any team we face,” Coach Lepage said. “That is all we can ask of a goaltender, and he does that night in and night out, in every game.”

In recognition of his strong work ethic, determination, commitment and good sportsmanship, Topi is this week’s Raider Boosters “Player of the Week.” Each week, an athlete is recognized for his/her dedication (does more than what is asked), work ethic, coachability and academic good standing. Recipients receive a specially-designed t-shirt, sponsored by the Raiders Boosters Club.

The Laakso File

Name: Topi Laakso

Hometown: Helsinki, Finland

Year in School: Junior

Parents: Ulla Laakso and Timo Laakso

School groups/ Sports: Ice Hockey

Q. Why did you choose ice hockey? TL. I have played ice hockey since I was 8. I have always loved hockey.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish this season? TL. I hope to have a good season and it would be nice if the team would make it to playoffs.

Q. What do you enjoy the most? TL. I enjoy when the team is having fun on the ice and playing games with excitement.

Q. What do enjoy the least? TL. Well, I don’t like when I am playing bad, nobody does. I don’t like people who play to hurt other people and people who do not play for the love of the game.

Q. What makes you successful? TL. I think that calmness makes me successful.

Q. What would your dream moment be? TL. My dream moment would be to play professional (hockey) and play an exciting/important game (with our team winning).

Q. What has sports taught you? TL. Sports have taught me many things. Sports have taught me how to lose and how to work hard to get to your goals.

Q. What do you like most about your team? TL. I like the team spirit and the players on our team.

Q. Who has inspired you? TL. My parents have inspired me a lot and they have always supported me with playing sports. Also Finnish NHL player, Teemu Selänne, has inspired me a lot.

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