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    Blades win!

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 September 12日 Saturday

    The Tohoku Free Blades hosted their first preseason game today in Hachinohe, Aomori against the Nikko Ice Bucks. And despite local reports that it was a rough game with lots of penalties against the Blades, the expansion team managed to pull off a wild 9-6 win over the stronger than usual Bucks squad. The shots on goal were Blades 35 – 36 Bucks, so it looks like the Blades have improved a lot compared to their first pair of preseason games in Nikko where they were clearly being outplayed. Apparently there was a decently sized crowd as well (there better be, as it was a weekend game, and the first one against an AL team at that.)

    Edit: Official game sheet. There were 420 spectators, this’ll have to improve during the regular season.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, Japan, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Familymart entrance melody remixed!

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 September 11日 Friday

    This should be familiar to those living in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.

    Posted in 02_English, culture, information, music, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Bucks acquire quality import!

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 September 11日 Friday

    Bud Smith who was a wrecking force with High1 a couple of seasons ago (30GP 35P) is officially joining the Nikko Ice Bucks who have already been bolstered significantly by the 6 former elite Seibu players, he should add a nice extra punch to the offence. The Bucks are a team to watch for this season for a nice change!

    bsmith

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    パーピック、クロアチアへ

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 September 8日 Tuesday

    チャイナ・シャークス入りする予定だった石岡敏選手は結局東北へ行きましたが、同じく元西武でシャークスへ移籍する予定だったジョエル・パーピック選手はなんとEBEL (オーストリア主体の国際リーグ)のクロアチアのチームMedveščak へ移籍だそうです。EBEL はアジアリーグよりレベルが高いであろうし(代表チームの力の差から見て)、また年を重ねた上、体格のアドバンテージはアジアリーグ程ではないので、AL時代の成績は期待できないでしょうが、そこそこ活躍するんじゃないでしょうか。そして日本より格下のクロアチアのチームだから、主力助っ人として補強されたのでしょう。シャークスからの提携が切られドラゴンへなった波紋ですね。

    追記:両親がクロアチア人なので、現在クロアチアパスポート待ち(外国人選手枠に入らなくなる)だそうで、プレーを始められるのは10月になるみたいです。

    Posted in 01_日本語, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    McDonald’s sumo chair 山本山仕様

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 September 8日 Tuesday

    mrt0909061757001-n1

    両国国技館に近く、力士も頻繁に訪れる東京都台東区のマクドナルド浅草橋店は6日、一般席の約2倍もの大きさとなる世界で唯一の「大相撲力士専用席」を設置した。モデルには日本人最重量、258キロの十両山本山を起用、実際に石膏で型どりするなど100万円以上の費用をかけた。

    この日、店を訪れた山本山は「自分はちゃんこよりマックです。朝げいこがない時は朝マックだから」と言うほどのマクドナルド好き。以前はその体重でマクドナルドの木製のいすを「木っ端みじんに壊してしまった」というだけに「これがあると助かる」と笑顔で完成したばかりの専用席でハンバーガーを平らげた。

    http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/martialarts/090906/mrt0909061757001-n1.htm

    Special $10,000 chair created for sumo wrestlers at the McDonald’s in front of the Ryogoku Kokugikan Arena where 3 grand sumo tournaments take place a year.

    In the past, the currently heaviest wrestler Yamamotoyama managed to destroy a McD’s chair when he sat on it, he weighs a hefty 258kg. He says he likes Maccers more than the traditional chanko nabe soup for sumo wrestlers.

    Posted in 01_日本語, 02_English, information, sumo, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    AL Preseason Shorts + Ichiro

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 September 7日 Monday

    • Oji Eagles and Nippon Paper Cranes played a pair of free admission preseason games in Tomakomai, Hokkaido over the weekend. Results were 3-2 and 4-1 for an Oji sweep.
    • Tohoku Free Blades were officially admitted into the league on 5 September. Well, this was just a rubber stamping process since the club is starting out its life on stable grounds.

    freeblades-109788

    • Ex-Seibu Prince Rabbit D Ryuichi Kawai and (probably) his younger brother and ex-Gatineau Olympique Takuma Kawai are going to be on the ice for the University of Lethbridge team’s tryouts, even though they’re both not enrolled with the university. Apparently the training camp has guys trying to crack AHL and ECHL clubs, so it’ll be interesting to see how they fare. The brothers are staying and training with ex-Seibu Ryan Fujita whose home is about a 40 minute drive from Lethbridge, Alberta.
    • The immortal Ichiro earned his 2000th Major League hit in style with a double against the A’s. Always a showman who marks special occasions with crafty hits or big bombs more often than his usual slap and dash.

    Mariners Athletics Baseball

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, baseball, ECHL, hockey, information, MLB, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    China Dragon are official

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 September 3日 Thursday

    Yes, it sounds like  a Chinese restaurant, but the Chinese entry in the Asia League has cut off its affliation with the NHL San Jose Sharks after one season, and now will be known as the China Dragon and will split their home games between Harbin and Shanghai (It’s good to see elite hockey back in Harbin on one hand, but this’ll lessen the impact in Shanghai, too bad China can only put together one viable AL squad.) The team is currently training in Harbin, and only has one import, the super veteran 42-year old Igor Andryushchenko who was instrumental in the Belarussian Junost Minsk winning the 2007 European Continental Cup (one level below the European Champions League or its equivalent) along with his then teammate and now China Dragon coach Andrei Kovalev.

    The Dragon plan on adding 2 or 3 more imports but they do not intend on maximizing the 7 import slots that they have in order to grow domestic talent. But they will be hard pressed to avoid being a doormat team again without an elite goalie like they had with Wade Flaherty last season. Imports are expected to be Belarussian and Kazakhstani. Though the coach or the Belarussian media still think that the now defunct Seibu Prince Rabbits are the team to beat in the league, so accurate information seems to be hard to come by. Unless the Dragon get an elite goalie, with the traditionally sieve defence of the Chinese, it’ll be a long season, especially with the highly bolstered Bucks lineup to contend with, and the Blades may be no pushovers either.

    Anyways, it’ll be yet another interesting season coming up in the ever changing Asia League.

    The Chinese hockey federation (government) is apparently saving money by going the Belaruss route instead of American, but I thought the Sharks provided coaching and players for almost free last season, but I might be wrong, and the economic downturn doesn’t help. This is mostly speculation.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Halla – High1 season opener moved up

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 September 1日 Tuesday

    The season opening 2 game series at Anyang between Halla and High1 on 19 and 20 September has been moved up to 15:00 for live television broadcast purposes. So, if anyone’s attending the season opener, please be aware, and have fun!

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

    China Dragon?

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 August 31日 Monday

    It’s almost certain that the San Jose Sharks have pulled out of their venture in China with the China Sharks, the only Chinese entry in the Asia Legue. First, in a recent IIHF article, it was announced that China has hired Belarussian Andrei Kovalev to coach both the national team and the Chinese Asia League team (doesn’t say Sharks).

    China hired former Belarusian national player Andrei Kovalev as its new head coach. He signed a contract through April 2010.

    The 43-year-old has plenty of international experience as a player. Kovalev played in eight World Championships and two Olympics with Belarus. He also won U20 gold with the Soviets. He played for Dynamo Minsk and Dynamo Moscow in the Russian and Soviet league before a two-year stint in North America in the AHL and other minor leagues, and 13 years in Germany. He ended his playing career in 2007 with Yunost Minsk.

    After retiring, he worked with Yunost before becoming the assistant coach of HK Vitebsk.

    Kovalev will be assisted by Chinese coaches and he will also be the head coach of the Chinese team in the Asian League. The club is located in a new 8,000-seat arena in Shanghai and it’s the strongest club team in the country.

    Then in the Blades-Bucks preseason games over the weekend, apparently people were given pamphlets for the upcoming Asia League season with a team named “China Dragon”.

    Removal of Sharks personnel (especially coach) from the Chinese team, and the addition of Kovalev definitely indicates a change in direction away from the Sharks, but with the China team’s opening game quickly approaching on 24 September, they’ll have to get their act together in a hurry. And it looks like yet another year where top level Chinese hockey is changing directions with no clear long term plan.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, International, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »