Goaltender Eri Kiribuchi, born in Japan, learned hockey in the Czech Republic, and now attending Bemidji State University in Minnesota, USA, playing for the Japanese national team for the first time in her career against USA at the 2009 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Finland. She gave up 4 goals against the world champions in half the game in Japan’s 0-8 loss in pool play, she looks to be a key piece for the future of the Japanese national team as she is the only person playing outside of the country and in the de facto women’s elite league that is NCAA Division I.
Posts Tagged ‘bemidji’
Posted by simon c on 2009 April 22日 Wednesday
Posted by simon c on 2009 March 31日 Tuesday
The wonderful UniWatch blog does a great job in reviewing all 16 teams’ uniforms that made it to the Frozen Four (Sixteen). Eri Kiribuchi’s Bemidji State makes the list, but Paul Kariya’s alma mator Maine doesn’t (though it does in the comments). Lots of great classic looking unis (some resembling NHL unis) all around, with some horrendous alternate jerseys. Why do you need alts for college hockey? Marketing rules.
Posted by simon c on 2009 February 18日 Wednesday
Eri Kiribuchi (long bio here), whose blog is right here (Japanese), is competing in the Winter Universiade 2009 which started in Harbin, China today. We’ll see if she starts in goal, to the best of my knowledge she still hasn’t started an official game for Bemidji State University in Minnesota, where she is competing with two other freshmen goalies to be the starter.
She’s a very interesting case for a Japanese hockey player, having left Japan with her family shortly after the 1998 Nagano Olympics, falling in love with hockey, specifically Czech hockey. The whole family moved to Prague to pursue the kids’ hockey dreams. After attending an athletics high school in the Czech Republic, Eri’s managed to secure herself a scholarship in an NCAA Division I school. Eri has been the most successful one, having managed this national team call up, but her brother Yuto has been no slouch either playing in the Czech Extraliga 2nd division club HK Lev Slaný. While Eri is playing in the highest level of women’s hockey in NCAA Division I, the rest of her family remains in Prague operating a B&B (Japanese). She’s fluent trilingual, has appeared in a cosmetics commercial in Europe 😛 , is a promising goalie for Japan’s future, so it is good to see that the national hockey program is looking overseas for promising talent. Good luck!