AL 2008 Preseason Wrap
Posted by simon c on 2008 September 17日 Wednesday
The Asia League 2008 preseason schedule in Japan has concluded with a series over games over this past long weekend and here are the results:
9.14 Seibu Prince Rabbits 6 (1-0, 2-1, 3-2) 3 Nikko IceBucks (@ Higashifushimi, Tokyo)
The Bucks yet again did not dress their two imports, Mickey Gilchrist and Eric Lafreniere. Let’s hope that’s their missing ingredient for some success in the upcoming AL season. The Bucks only played 2 preseason games against Seibu and lost them both. Seibu went 1-5 in Bayern, Germany in late August and won both games against the Bucks to finish the preseason 3-5 (though, only winning against weaker opposition, so it’s a bit difficult to gauge the now Chris Yule-less Rabbits strength at the moment, I’ll see the 2 teams in action as the 2008-09 regular season opens on the 20th.)
80th Hokkaido Ice Hockey Championships (A class) @ Tsukisamu Arena, Sapporo
9.13 Nippon Paper Cranes 5 (2-0, 0-0, 3-0) 0 Toyota Jidosha Hokkaido Centuries
9.13 Kushiro Koseisha IHC 0 (0-2, 0-2, 0-6) 10 Oji Eagles
As expected, the AL teams totally outclassed their amateur opponents, though Toyota did well keeping things close against the Cranes until the final frame (though I have no idea what kind of lineup the Cranes iced that day).
3rd place match
9.14 Toyota Jidosha Hokkaido Centuries 9 (1-0, 4-1, 4-1) 2 Kushiro Koseisha IHC
Toyota proves once again that they’re the best amateur side on the northern island of Hokkaido.
9.14 Nippon Paper Cranes 2 (1-1, 0-1, 1-0, 0-1) 3 Oji Eagles
Eagles squeak by the Cranes in OT to take the Hokkaido Championship.
33rd Annual Mainichi Cup Oji Eagles v Nippon Paper Cranes @ Tsukisamu Arena, Sapporo
9.14 Nippon Paper Cranes 2 (0-1, 1-1, 1-0, 0-1) 3 Oji Eagles
Eagles repeat the feat the very next day in their annual match against the Cranes.
Eagles look to be in top form already, having gone undefeated in the Anyang Cup then defeating the Cranes in consecutive games. Though the Cranes have added elite point-getter Chris Yule and with the return of Masahito Nishiwaki (ECHL Dayton Bombers last season), they’re also a force to be reckoned with. Hokkaido teams may very well rule the roost again this season (especially with the Cranes going with imports who are veterans with NHL experience, unlike their cheapskate import attempt last season. Cranes were also undefeated in the Anyang Cup.)
Coming up, regular season opens on the 20th, so hopefully a season preview post before that, as there has been a fair number of player movements across the league. (Oh, and I also have to prepare for a couple of hockey pool drafts :P )
And in an interesting practice match, the Japanese universiad team defeated Korea’s Yonsei University 2-0 on 9 September in Tomakomai, Hokkaido.