2009 Kanto University Championship
Posted by simon c on 2009 May 2日 Saturday
The 2009 Kanto University Ice Hockey Championships (aka 58th Chichibunomiya Cup) concluded on 29 April with the bronze medal game and the finals held at Dydo Drinco Ice Arena in Higashifushimi, Tokyo.
The Rabbits no more at Higashifushimi. But the White Bears junior teams are prominent, and that’s kind of fitting since the Seibu Railway team that occupied Higashifushimi before their merger with Kokudo was the White Bears.
This championship is a knockout tournament with placement games.
The first game was the third place match between Hosei University and Meiji University.
Meiji looking funky in their throwback-ish uniform. The game was no contest though, as Hosei took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, then never looked back on their way to a comfortable 5-2 victory.
And the feature game of the day was the finals between Waseda University and Toyo University, powerhouse Japanese university teams.
Waseda players start to warm up on the ice while Meiji and Hosei players were still on their way off. There was no Zamboni between the previous game and the next game’s practice, as the schedule was pretty tightly packed. The Zamboni came on after the pre-game practice though.
Waseda’s #21 Shuhei Kuji who was heads and shoulders above the other players on the ice, as he singlehandedly scored Waseda’s first goal by dancing through the Toyo defence from the blue line before cleanly beating the goalie to score unassisted. Kuji has already played and has scored for the senior national team, and it shows, he’s got quick hands and feet. Hopefully his growth as a player won’t be stunted in the near future.
Waseda looks like Harvard (no surprise as a self-professed Japanese Ivy) and Toyo’s looking NY Rangers. The standing room only crowd was much larger than at most Asia League games.
Kuji also scored Waseda’s only other goal in the game, but as teams Toyo was far superior and the game ended 6-2 for Toyo with an empty netter.
Congratulations Toyo University, the 2009 Kanto champions!