Weekend hockey update
Posted by simon c on 2009 March 9日 Monday
The new team Tohoku Free Blades who are aiming to join the Asia League starting next season played another exhibition game recently. The team is still undermanned and its 5 defencemen and 7 forwards hung on but lost 6-4 to western Japan powerhouse amateur team Surpass Kagawa. Once the team’s status on joining the Asia League becomes clear, the team is likely to sign the rest of the players to fill out its roster (some imports will be needed to be competitive in the AL).
Eri Kiribuchi’s dad made the trip from Prague to be at Harbin for the Universiad where Eri made her debut with the Japanese national team. He has uploaded a bunch of video segments to Youtube. They’re not just Japan-centric, but Eri-centric as the camera never leaves the goalie :P
And last but not least, the Nippon Paper Cranes pulled the rug from under Anyang Halla’s feet. The Cranes were down 3-2 in the semifinals with the series heading back to Anyang, Korea with Halla only needing to win one game to become the first non-Japanese team to advance to the Asia League finals. But the Cranes managed a gutsy OT win in game 6, followed by another 3-2 win in game 7, this time in regulation time.
The Cranes will meet the Seibu Prince Rabbits in the finals which will begin on the 13th with games 1 and 2 in Higashifushimi, Tokyo at the Dydo Drinco Arena (Higashifushimi Station on the Seibu-Shinjuku train line). Game 1 on Friday should start at 7pm and game 2 on Saturday at 2pm. Games 3 through 5 will be in Kushiro, Hokkaido. And game 6 will be on the afternoon of Sunday 22 March, and game 7 on the following evening if necessary. The Rabbits are looking to go out on top as the team won the All-Japan Championship tournament earlier in the year, and the club will fold after this season if no buyer is found (and in this economy, it looks unlikely. Luckily it looks like the Blades will replace the Rabbits in the league.)