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    JIHF and Asia League Ice Hockey press releases

    Preseason Hokkaido Derby

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 August 6日 Thursday

    Defending Asia League champions Nippon Paper Cranes will face off against the Oji Eagles for two preseason games at the beginning of September. Free admission for both games.

    3 Sept (Thu) 18:30 faceoff

    4 Sept (Fri) 10:30 faceoff

    Both games are held at the Oji Skate Center and which is located a mere 4 minute walk from JR Tomakomai station on Oji Street.


    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, press releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Free Blades Golden Week events

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 29日 Wednesday

    The upstart ALIH team Tohoku Free Blades will be hosting promotional events in Fukushima and Sendai (two of their 3 home towns) on 3 and 5 May, the latter being Boy’s Day, a national holiday.

    2009/Fukushima Airport YOU/YOUR Festival

    [Event] 2009/Fukushima Airport YOU/YOUR Festival

    [Date] 3 May (Sun) 9:00~16:00

    [Location] Fukushima Airport

    [Details] Take your shots event, autograph session

    [Participating players] #9 Takuya Nakamura, #18 Kota Tanaka, #19 Kosuke Takahashi

    Ice Rink Sendai Golden Week Special Event

    [Date] 5 May (Tue) 13:00~14:00

    [Location] Ice Rink Sendai

    [Details] Ice hockey shooting demo, skating class, autograph session

    [Participating players] #8 Shuji Kikuchi, #16 Jeffrey Koichi Honma, #21 Kazuki Yamamoto, #41 Yujiro Kasahara

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, 03_Translations (英訳ポートフォリオ), Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, Japan, press releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Blades the newest AL team!

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 14日 Tuesday

    The Tohoku Free Blades have been tentatively accepted into Asia League Ice Hockey starting with the upcoming 2009-10 season!

    The Blades currently only have 12 skaters and 2 goalies on contract, but now they can start their work in earnest to strengthen the team by signing more experienced players (probably some former Seibu Prince Rabbits) and imports, now that they’re more or less officially part of the AL. This is great news for hockey in the Tohoku area (north eastern part of the main Honshu island). The timing is great as most seasons in hockey playing countries are starting to wind down, and players and coaches will be looking for employment for next season. The plan is to play 8~10 games in Hachinohe, Aomori, and other games in the Tohoku area such as Koriyama, Fukushima where the team will be based.

    Edit: The team is expected to operate on an annual budget of 150 million yen = $1.5m (much closer to the Nikko Ice Bucks budget than the Seibu Prince Rabbits’ 500 million yen = $5m), and is going to work to draw an average attendance of 1,500 per game.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion, press releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    Seibu oldtimers game and AL’s future

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 3日 Friday

    On 28 March 2009, as part of the Seibu Prince Rabbits fan appreciation day, there was a Seibu Railways (Polar Bears) – Kokudo (Bunnies) oldtimers game (Seibu Prince Rabbits are a result of the merger between Seibu Railways and Kokudo teams, both owned by the Seibu Group, in 2003. In fact, the Seibu Railway team split into Kokudo in 1972, shortly after the club was formed in 1966, a now jailed Tsutsumi CEO project, he was a huge hockey fan who even took Daisuke Matsuzaka to a Seibu hockey game shortly after he was drafted to the Lions).

    Here are some great photos and story (Japanese) from the oldtimers game. The advert-less unis look wonderful, as the old rivals squared off for one last time. There were 44 Seibu oldtimers and 29 Kokudo seniors. Seibu had a ringer in current Nikko IceBuck Hideji Tsuchida (sorta like Mark Messier in the Canadiens v Oilers oldtimers superstars match while he was still an active Ranger). The oldtimers game ended in a fitting 5-5 tie.

    Apparently more than 20 companies made inquiries about taking the Rabbits off Seibu’s hands, but the 5-oku (~$5m) operating cost and average attendance of 1,000 was the deal breaker (in the 70s(?) hockey was able to draw crowds of 10,000 at Yoyogi Arena). Though I doubt that any of the discussions went too deep, because it’s possible to run an Asia League hockey club on less than half that budget, like the Nikko IceBucks are doing. Something tells me that Seibu wanted to get rid of its hockey arm, as part of eliminating the Tsutsumi colours, what with the former group president being convicted for large scale fraud. (And I suspect that’s the similar reasoning behind the Saitama Seibu Lions moving away from the sky blue and Osamu Tezuka Leo logo towards almost-black navy and the weird lion palm and baseball logo, though the faux-Detroit Tigers unis are classy.)

    Here’s the official statement from the AL Chairman about Seibu folding. The one positive is that he mentions that the league is rather positive about accepting new teams into the now 6 team league (same size as the old Japanese Ice Hockey League). This is good news for the Tohoku Free Blades who have an exhibition game against the Oji Eagles  on 5 April at 13:00 at the Bandai Atami Ice Arena in Koriyama, Fukushima (one of the Blades’ home towns). The Blades have already played an exhibition match against the AL last place team Nikko, so the increasing involvement with AL teams is positive development for the Blades to join the AL. (I’m also hoping that the western Japan powerhouse Surpass Kagawa will eventually join the AL as well, but there are no current rumours.)

    So, there’s a decent chance that the AL will still be a 7 team league next season, despite being weakened by the loss of Seibu (though this opens the door for the Korean and Chinese teams, which is a welcome change). Apparently 12-15 Seibu players have a chance of catching on with another team in Asia or Europe next seasons, others are likely to become regular Seibu Group employees. Though with the lack of funding for the Blades, they look unlikely to be taking on the expensive Seibu players.

    A short Q&A was held with the Seibu hockey club owner (president) Koyama on 31 March when the official team folding was announced. Here’s the abridged version (full version in Japanese here).

    Q: What was the reasoning behind the timing of this press conference?

    A: Each team must submit player transfer/release list by mid-April, hence the timing.

    Q: How will the players be treated going forward?

    A: Individual interviews will be conducted with each player during April. The key question is whether players want to keep on playing hockey or joing the company (Seibu) full-time and start working on regular jobs. We will support the players as much as possible.

    Q: What are the specific plans to support the players?

    A: Players will be able to stay in the team dorm until July. Request has been made to the company so that the (semi-pro) players will be given a 2 year sabbatical from the company to pursue their hockey careers if that is their wish.

    Q: What will happen to company referees and coaches who contribute to the AL?

    A: Immediately pulling them out will cause trouble for the league, so we are in discussion with officials such as the federation for their future. The rink (Higashifushimi) will continue to operate as usual (as the home of the women’s Princess Rabbits team, figure skating, and public skating.)

    Q: What were the reactions inside the company regarding the hockey team folding?

    A: The company itself is undergoing major restructuring, so this issue went rather unnoticed compared to the past.

    Q: How did the discussions go with prospective buyers of the team?

    A: 20 to 25 companies from Tokyo and outside Tokyo expressed interest. They were interested in hockey as a sport, but the average attendance of 1000+ made serious discussion difficult, and ultimately ended in failure.

    Incidentally, 2008-09 average attendance:

    1: Oji Eagles 1498 (all games over 1000)
    2: Seibu Prince Rabbits (attendance boosted after team folding announcement)
    3: Nippon Paper Cranes 1211
    4: Anyang Halla 1052
    5: Nikko IceBucks 1013 (used to have over 4000 supporters when the club first formed 10 years ago)
    6: High1 488 (all tickets are free, but no advertising, sponsor must be loaded)

    7: China Sharks (many comp tickets given out, attracting thousands of fans at some games, hopefully they gained some traction in the Shanghai student town.) 

    Posted in 02_English, 03_Translations (英訳ポートフォリオ), Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, Japan, opinion, press releases, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Tohoku Free Blades is born!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 November 14日 Friday

    Official press conference for the perspective Asia League franchise was announced on 12 November in Koriyama (Fukushima, the team’s headquarters), Hachinohe (Aoyama, the team’s training base), and Sendai (Miyagi, the largetst city in the Tohoku area). The team’s name is the Tohoku Free Blades, incorporating the meaning of free and sharp newcomer in the league that will cut through the old bureaucracy (not sure how realistic this is.)

    The team was established in Xebio as part of its subsidiary, so it’s another industrial team insted of a club team. The Blades already have 12-13 players under contract, and are planning of adding about 10 players who are new graduates this spring from various university teams, and also through some tryout sessions (open to foreigners, though all players bear all costs during the tryout) in December 10-11. It will definitely be a young team, and if it is approved to join the AL in the April meeting, I expect them to be compete with the Bucks and Sharks for the last playoff spot.

    The team intends on drawing talent from the hockey rich Tohoku area eventually, but is mainly compoased of players from hockey hotbed Hokkaido for now. The Blades will host games in Koriyama and Hachinohe, but will also host games in Morioka and Mitsuzawa also in Aomori. 

    This is wonderful news for Japanese and Asian hockey which has been constant decline in the number of teams. Hopefully the Blades will be granted the permission to join the Asia League next season, they certainly seem keen enough.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion, press releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Olympic qualifier Japan national teams announced

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 October 27日 Monday

    Japan Ice Hockey Federation has announced the national teams for the upcoming Vancouver Olympics qualifying tournament on 6-9 November. The men’s team will train in Germany from 29 Oct, and will enter Poland on 3 Nov for the tournament against Great Britain, Romania, and the hosts Poland. The women’s team will play in Shanghai against Norway, the Czech Republic, and China.

    Men’s team.


    Masahito Haruna (35) Oji Eagles

    Hisashi Ishikawa (27) Nippon Paper Cranes

    Naoya Kikuchi (33) Seibu Prince Rabbits



    Jun Tonosaki (24) Cranes

    Fumitaka Miyauchi (35) Seibu

    Hideyuki Osawa (29) Cranes

    Ryuichi Kawai (24) Seibu

    Ryota Minami (22) Oji

    Takafumi Yamashita (20) Oji

    Aaron Keller (33) Oji




    Katsuya Ogawa (23) Oji

    Masato Domeki (24) Oji

    Yosuke Kon (30) Seibu

    Toru Kamino (29) Seibu

    Masafumi Ogawa (24) Oji

    Go Tanaka (24) Seibu

    Daisuke Obara (27) Seibu

    Takahito Suzuki (33) Seibu

    Takeshi Saito (27) Oji

    Darcy Mitani (34) Cranes

    Kei Tonosaki (26) Oji

    Tetsuya Saito (24) Oji

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, International, Japan, olympics, press releases | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

    Anyang Halla forfeits a game

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 22日 Monday

    The new season has just begun for the Asia League, and already there is already controversy with more potential trouble brewing (maybe).

    The issue is Anyang Halla forfeiting their game against High1 in only the second game of the season after High1 scored an apparently controversial goal late in what must’ve been an entertaining match up to that point. But the Halla coach disputed this goal and refused to continue with the game, thus forfeiting the game. 3 points for a regulation win will be awarded to High1, and all individual records from the game will not be counted. The finalized decision will come from the rules committee of Asia League on a later date. (Loosely translated and added more facts to the last paragraph from this AL press release covering Sunday’s actions which briefly exlains the forfeited game. Looking at the game sheet the 59:59 goal was an empty netter, and Halla coach received a delay of game penalty at 60:00 presumably for not putting his team back on the ice, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what actually transpired, we’ll need some solid firsthand information from the rink.)

    The original brief explanation on the forfeited game in the press release:

    ■「High1 対 アニャンハルラ」 高陽アイスリンク/韓国

    この試合は、試合終了間際のHigh1 のゴールを巡り、ハルラが試合続行を拒否したため、没収試合となりました。

    High1 を勝利扱いとなります。個人記録は全て無効です。


    Posted in 02_English, 03_Translations (英訳ポートフォリオ), Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion, press releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Anyang Cup 2008 Day 1

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 5日 Friday

    Day 1 (9.3) result:

    ANYANG HALLA 4 (0-1,1-2,3-2) 5 HIGH1

    HALLA : Son, Ho Sung, Kim, Sun Ki
    High1 : Eum, Hyun Seung, Kanamaru

    Scorer ( )=assists
    HALLA : (1)Lee, Yu Won (Kim, Han Sung) (2)Song, Dong Hwan (Kim, Woo Jae)
    (3)Radunske (Fast, Yoon, Kyung Won) (4)Martinec (Song, Dong Hwan, Lee, Kwon Joon)
    High1 : (1)Gauvreau (Allen, Kim, Dong Hwan) (2)Kim, Eun Joon (Gauvreau, Choi, Jung Sik)
    (3)Kuwabara (Hwang, Byung Wook) (4)Osterby (Kuwabara)
    (5)Han, Seung Woong (Allen, Lee, You)

    【High1 Head Coach Kim Hee-woo’s postgame comment】
    I did not expect the team’s system, because our foreign players have joined 2 days ago. Fortunately, our teamwork had grown better period by period. Our first target is to join the playoffs.


    The Korean derby featured the return of Song Dong-Hwan to Halla from 2 year mandatory military service with 1G+1A.
    Japanese-Canadian veteran (doesn’t count against import restrictions with his Japanese passport) also played well for High1 with 1G+1A as well.
    The two players (re-)joining the Korean squads this season started off the preseason well.

    In day 2 action one of the games ended with China Sharks 1 – 5 Oji Eagles in a battle between last season’s bottom dwellers and champions. Don’t have any more details, but the Sharks were losing by double digits last season, so this may be a promising start.


    • Nippon Paper Cranes (JPN)
    • Oji Eagles (JPN)
    • Anyang Halla (KOR)
    • High1 (KOR)
    • China Sharks (CHN)

    03 Sept.
    19:00 High1 5 – 4 Anyang Halla 
    04 Sept
    16:00 Oji Eagles 5 – 1 China Sharks 
    19:00 Anyang Halla vs Nippon Paper Cranes 
    05 Sept.
    19:00 High1 vs Oji Eagles 
    06 Sept.
    12:00 China Sharks vs Anyang Halla 
    15:00 High1 vs Nippon Paper Cranes 
    07 Sept.
    12:00 Anyang Halla vs Oji Eagles 
    15:00 Nippon Paper Cranes vs China Sharks

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion, press releases | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

    JIHF Press Release: Seibu wins 2008 All Japan Ice Hockey Championship

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 February 13日 Wednesday

    The 75th edition of the All Japan Ice Hockey Championship final tournament was held in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan from 4 – 10 February, 2008.

    In the final, Seibu beat the Nippon Paper Cranes 5-3 to win its first All Japan Championship since 2004 when the team was still called Kokudo.

    Oji Paper won the bronze medal game 4-1 over the Nikko.


    Final standings:

    Gold: Seibu Prince Rabbits

    Silver: Nippon Paper Cranes

    Bronze: Oji Ice Hockey Club

    4th: HC Nikko IceBucks

    Tournament MVP: Obara Daisuke (Seibu Prince Rabbits)


    (The All Japan Championship is an open tournament, similar to the FA Cup, with regional qualifiers for club teams, university teams, and high school teams. Asia League teams, the elite teams in Japan by far, enter the tournament in the quarterfinals.)


    In the quarterfinals, AL teams won all their games, as expected, but Waseda University put up a valiant effort against the Cranes who have not been playing like a defending treble winner (2007 AL Regular Season, Playoffs, and All Japan Championships), Waseda only lost by 1 goal with the final score being 3-2 in favour of the Cranes. Other quarterfinal results were Nikko IceBucks 7 – 2 Toyo University, Oji Paper 10 – 0 Chuo University, Seibu Prince Rabbits 12 – 0 Toyota Centuries (Hokkaido club team).

    http://www.jihf.or.jp/jihf/data/schedule.php?id=127 (Tournament results in Japanese)

    Original article (Japanese):


    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, 03_Translations (英訳ポートフォリオ), Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, Japan, JIHF, press releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    JIHF press release: Surpass Kagawa threepeats in J Ice West

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 January 19日 Saturday

    The 2nd round of J Ice West competition was held at the Villa Sanuki Ice Arena in Miki-shi, Kida-gun, Kagawa-ken over 12 and 13 January.

    Surpass Kagawa, Fukuoka selects, Hyogo selects, and Hiroshima selects participated in this tournament, and western Japan powerhouse Surpass Kagawa dominated all of their games to easily win the J Ice West crown for the third straight season. (The competition structure is unusual in that the teams do not face each other equal number of times, in other words an unbalanced schedule. This probably results in final standings that may not be truly representative of team strengths.)


    J Ice West competition final scores (1st and 2nd rounds):

    2007.12.15 Surpass Kagawa 8 – 2 Hiroshima selects (Kobe Port Island Ice Arena)

    2007.12.15 Fukuoka selects 4 – 5 Hyogo selects (Kobe Port Island Ice Arena)

    2007.12.16 Hiroshima selects 0 – 5 Fukuoka selects (Kobe Port Island Ice Arena)

    2007.12.16 Surpass Kagawa 8 – 1 Hyogo selects (Kobe Port Island Ice Arena)

    2008.1.12 Surpass Kagawa 13 – 3 Hiroshima selects (Villa Sanuki Ice Arena)

    2008.1.12 Fukuoka selects 6 – 4 Hyogo selects (Villa Sanuki Ice Arena)

    2008.1.13 Hiroshima selects 6 – 3 Hyogo selects (Villa Sanuki Ice Arena)

    2008.1.13 Surpass Kagawa 10 – 1 Fukuoka selects (Villa Sanuki Ice Arena)

    Final Standings:

    1. Surpass Kagawa 4 – 0 (GF/GA 39/7)

    2. Fukuoka selects 2 – 2 (16/19)

    3. Hyogo selects 1 – 3 (13/24)

    4. Hiroshima selects 1 – 3 (11/29)

    Original JIHF press release (2008.1.13):


    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, 03_Translations (英訳ポートフォリオ), hockey, information, Japan, JIHF, opinion, press releases, statistics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »