Lauri Mononen, a Finnish Hall of Famer, has passed away at the age of 68. Mononen, a native of Joensuu, was a trailblazer in Finnish hockey when he in 1975 signed a professional contract with the Phoenix Roadrunners in the World Hockey Association. He died yesterday in Kesalahti.
Mononen began his career in the outdoor rinks in Joensuu, following in the footsteps of his brother Erkki, also a national team player, first to the Joensuu JoKP men’s team as a 16-year-old and then to Lahti where he made his breakthrough.
He made his national team debut as a 18-year-old in an exhibition game against Poland – and scored a hat trick. At the 1969 World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden, he scored two goals and seven points in nine games, tied for team lead in points.
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