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    Posts Tagged ‘estonia’

    Day 4: IIHF World Championship Div I B in Sapporo

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 19日 Saturday

    Heartbreaking SO loss (2-3) for Japan in a very entertaining game that could have easily been 5-4 with many squandered chances going in both directions. Despite being outsized, outskilled, and outmuscled, the home team made it exciting with great speedy counterattacks and some almost-lucky bounces. Ukraine played their hardest so far in this tournament, so it’ll be interesting to see if they’ll finally come out full force against Hungary in the decisive game for the gold medal and promotion. The atmosphere in the arena for the UKR-JPN game gradually and steadily became more intense, and it was absolutely electric during the end of regulation, OT, and the SO which went into sudden death. That was good to see from the local supporters.

    Lithuania finally woke up against Estonia with a 4-1 win. Estonia’s put in a very tight spot having to win against Japan to avoid relegation.

    Hungary-Croatia was a bit of a snoozer with the Hungarians just waiting for the Croat legs to tire out, then pounding the goal for the sure victory. Croats need a club team or two competing in a higher calibre league to improve their national team, as domestic competition probably just breeds complacency. The winner of HUN-UKR match, the final one in this tournament, will be for the gold medal and promotion to the top division.

     SAPPORO, Japan – Hungary and Ukraine will play for promotion on Saturday as both teams won their Friday games. Lithuania is out of the danger zone after having beaten Estonia, 4-1, in their Baltic clash. “Eesti” needs a miracle to avoid relegation.

    Japan – Ukraine 2-3 (0-0, 2-2, 0-0, 0-0, 0-1) SO

    Brave Japan had a 2-1 lead in the second period and it looked like the team could hold on and compete with Hungary for the promotion, but it was Ukraine that came out on top. Sergei Varlamov scored the 2-2-goal with 51 seconds left of the second period and Dmytro Tsyrul scored the winning goal in the fifth round of the shootout to guarantee the Ukrainians the opportunity.

    Hungary and Ukraine will meet in the all-decisive final game on Saturday to determine which team will earn promotion to Switzerland 2009. Hungary leads Ukraine by one point prior to the game, so both teams need a win, either in regulation or in OT to gain the big prize. The one-point edge that Hungary has in the standings does not give them any real advantage under the three-point system as a tie is not possible.

    Kostiantyn Kasianchuk gave Ukraine the lead with a PP-goal 42 seconds into the second frame, but Takahito Suzuki made it even four minutes later. The crowd of 1,879 fans at the Sapporo arena went into high gear when Toru Kamino gave the home favourites the lead at 6:49. The Japanese almost held the score intact until the second intermission, but Varlamov’s late goal tied the score.

    Ukraine last played in the top division in 2007 in Moscow, while Hungary has not competed in any elite event since finishing 16th and last at the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck.

    Hungary – Croatia 3-0 (0-0, 1-0, 2-0)

    Hungary remained perfect with 12 points in four games after blanking Croatia, 3-0. After a balanced and scoreless first period with 9-9 shots, it was the Hungarians who took advantage at 35:01 with a goal scored by Imre Peterdi.

    Estonia – Lithuania 1-4 (0-1, 1-1, 0-2)

    Lithuania, which scored once in its previous three games, netted four against Estonia. It was Lithuania’s first win of the championship (1W-3L) while Estonia dropped to last place. Their only point so far came in the overtime loss against Croatia on Wednesday.

    http://www.iihf.com/home-of-hockey/news/news-singleview/article/div-ib-lithuania-finally-finds-net.html?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=955&cHash=f96368694b

    Oh, and HUN-JPN goal highlights from Day 3 on Wednesday, including disallowed goals:

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    Posted in 02_English, culture, hockey, information, International, Japan, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Looking forward to Days 4&5: 2008 IHWC Div I B in Sapporo

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 18日 Friday

    Day 5 Games

    Lithuania vs Croatia

    Japan vs Estonia

    Ukraine vs Hungary

     

    Match day 4 provides 2 crucial games. Lithuania will have to start showing some signs of life against Estonia, otherwise they’re in real danger of dropping down to Division II next year. And Japan has to beat Ukraine by 2 or more goals to retain any hope of winning this tournament and advancing to the top division. I’m sure the motivated Hungarians will have no problems dispatching the Croatian team.

    Day 5 features the most likely “finals” of this tournament with Ukraine vs Hungary fighting to win it all and get promoted. Hungary’s Janos Vas (AHL Iowa Stars) joined the team before the Japan game on Wednesday, so he should be better adjusted to the time zone and Japan by the final day of the tournament (he only recorded 3 shots on net in the Japan game). Ukraine is still the heavy favourites though. It’s as if the Japanese organizers and the Japanese Ice Hockey Federation scheduled this game knowing that it will be the de facto “finals”. Very strange move if you’re the host country, you should be doing the most, including scheduling, to win the tournament. What is home ice advantage for after all? The potential relegation battle between Lithuania and Croatia could be interesting, and depending on how Japan did against Ukraine the night before, their match against Estonia will be a must win.

    A good take on the tournament atmosphere by a resident gaijin.

    Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, Japan, JIHF, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Day 3: 2008 IHWC Div I B in Sapporo

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 17日 Thursday

    Originally Posted by Krisz 
    Great game, great spirit from team Japan, coming back from 3-0. Poor refereeing, many penalties given to Hungary for nothing, clear japanese goal disallowed in the 59th minute (it was 3-2 for HUN in 59th min, beautiful japanese goal was scored, goal judge did not light the lamp, thinking he hit the bar). Japan is victim of stupid rules, no video goalie in Div I. WCs. Hungary played good until 3-0, then we got tired, trying to defend our lead. I’m not proud of this win, Japan should have deserved to tie the game here. Videos only tomorrow, I could not record the game. 

    Yeah, I think you’ve summed up very nicely what I read from Japanese fans too. Both them and you are very calm and levelheaded about this. It’s just too bad for Japan now. The only hope remaining is for Japan to beat Ukraine and Ukraine to beat Hungary, and for the goal differentials to work out. That’s a lot to ask for, but something really funky like that has happened before with the World Baseball Classic for Japan in 2006, so it’s not impossible (but Japan maybe have used up its luck there 😛 )

    (From IHF forums)

    Croatia beat Estonia in SO, congrats Croatia! Their 4th win in Division I and the first in 5 years (it was Estonia back then too.)

    Ukraine took a 4-0 lead in the 1st period, then just cruised to their victory.

     

     

    Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, Japan, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Looking forward to Day 3 of IHWC Div I B in Sapporo

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 16日 Wednesday

    4/16 (Wed) Day 3 Games
    13:00 Croatia VS. Estonia
    16:30 Ukraine VS. Lithuania
    20:00 Hungary VS. Japan

    Looking at this standings after day 2 makes it clear that this group has 3 strong and 3 weak teams.

    The winner of Hungary vs Japan will gain the right to face Ukraine in the battle to win this tournament and earn a promotion to the top division. Japan has two straight shutouts, but of the 8 goals scored 7 have been on the power play, so I’m concerned about Japan’s ability to score on even strength. On the other hand Hungary surrendered 3 goals to Estonia, so we’ll see how super Szuper is today (ooh, that was a bad pun).

    Croatia vs Estonia could be an interesting game, but I’m sure everyone involved expects the Ukraine – Lithuania tilt to be a bore, that’s too bad.

    Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, Japan, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Day 2: 2008 IHWC Div I B in Sapporo

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 15日 Tuesday

    The top half teams were pitted against the bottom teams again on Monday in day 2 of the tournament, and there were no upsets, though Estonia put up a valiant effort scoring first against Ukraine and basically losing 2-1 as the 3rd goal was an empty netter. Japan shut out Croatia, but all goals were scored on the power play. 7 of Japan’s 8 goals so far in this tournament has been power play goals, makes me somewhat worried about their ability to score even strength goals. Kikuchi got the shutout for Japan, copying Haruna’s performance from the day before. I hope Haruna, whose been hot since the Asia League playoffs in February, is the main goalie, but tournament requires teams to play 5 games in 7 days, so it’s reassuring to have a competent second goalie. 

    Hungarian goals against Lithuania.

    SAPPORO, Japan – Ukraine, Hungary and Japan all got their second wins on day two of the IIHF World Championship Division I Group B in Japan.

     

    Japan – Croatia 3-0 (1-0, 0-0, 2-0)

    The hosting team not only has two wins in two games, but they have played 120 minutes of hockey without conceding a goal. And Japan has used both their goalies in the process. Masahito Haruna was in goal on opening day against Lithuania, while Naoya Kikuchi had the shut-out against Croatia.

    The Croatians played much better than in the 4-0 opening day loss against Ukraine, but they simply can’t find the net. The team is scoreless after two days of action in Sapporo.

    Japan took full advantage of Croatian penalties and all three goals were scored in power-play. Darcy Mitani got the only marker of the first period, while Daisuke Obara and Takahito Suzuki provided the third-period goals.

    Full of confidence, Japan is now heading towards the key game against Hungary on Thursday. Croatia plays Estonia on the same day. All teams are idle on Wednesday.

     

    Hungary – Lithuania 6-0 (2-0, 2-0, 2-0)

    Hungary got their second win in as many days, by cruising past hapless and undisciplined Lithuania. The Hungarians scored four power-play goals and a fifth came on a penalty-shot, well executed by Csaba Kovacs. Gabor Ocskay had two goals, his second was the only goal of the game which came with the teams skating five on five. Lithuania took 30 penalty minutes including a 10-minute misconduct penalty, their second such offence in two days.

    Ukraine – Estonia 3-1 (0-0, 2-1, 1-0)

    Gold favourite Ukraine remains undefeated in the IIHF World Championship Division I Group B in Japan. The Ukrainians dominated Estonia but sealed their 3-1 win just in the last minute.

    Netminder Aleksei Terentjev was Estonia’s best player especially when the Ukrainians were outshooting their opponent 19-6 in the first period. Ukraine dominated the first eight minutes while Estonia started to create offensive danger afterwards.

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

    Day 1: 2008 IHWC Div I B in Sapporo

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 14日 Monday

    Opening day of the 2008 IHWC Division I Group B in Sapporo, Japan went as expected as the 3 favourites won handily over their weaker oppositions, controlling the play, as far as I can tell from the stats (no live TV coverage in the host country, shite). Japanese power play was extremely effective, scoring 4 goals, including one by Nishiwaki of the ECHL Dayton Bombers who just returned to Japan in time for the tournament and made his presence felt immediately.

    SAPPORO, Japan – Ukraine swept over the promoted Croats in the tournament opener while Hungary had a narrow win against Estonia. Hosts Japan had a perfect start in the evening game with a 5-0 against Lithuania.

    Lithuania – Japan 0-5 (0-4, 0-0, 0-1)
    SOG: 19 – 31
    PIM: 34 – 14

    Japan wanted immediately to prove to their fans in the packed Sapporo Arena that the team has the ambition to compete with Ukraine and Hungary for promotion to the 2009 World Championship in Switzerland. The hosts scored four unanswered goals in a furious opening period and they never looked back. Although, never really of promotion calibre, Lithuania has recently proved to be a very difficult opponent for the best teams on this level, but they were fundamentally outplayed during the first 20 minutes, and also outshot 17-8.

    Japan struck with goals approximately every fourth minute. After Yosuke Kon’s opener at 4:23, Masahito Nishiwaki (9:09) and Sho Sato (12:55) connected with power-play goals before Darcy Mitani finished the rampage at 18:02 with the 4-0 marker.

    The middle stanza was scoreless despite several Japanese power-play opportunities after the Lithuanians showed some poor composure, taking slashing, boarding and roughing minors.

    Ryuchi Kawai got his team’s third PP-goal early in the third to extinguish all hopes of a miraculous Lithuanian comeback. The Lithuanians continued to show frustration by taking bad penalties. Goaltender Nerijus Dauksevicius displayed the worst tempers when taking a 10-minute misconduct penalty (protesting an obvious call) with seven minutes left. Masahito Haruna got the shut-out, making 19 saves.

    Estonia – Hungary 3-5 (1-2, 2-1, 0-2)
    SOG: 11-46
    PIM: 16-12

    Croatia – Ukraine 0-4 (0-1, 0-1, 0-2)
    SOG: 27-41
    PIM: 10-12

    Hungary – Estonia highlights including a beautiful open ice hip check.

    Posted in 02_English, ECHL, hockey, information, International, Japan, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    IHWC Div I 2008: Japan NT preparations

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 5日 Saturday

    The Japanese national team has been preparing to host the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I tournament at Sapporo in the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan. The games will run 13 – 19 April against Ukraine, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, and Croatia.Since the end of the Asia League season, the national team has been in training in Hokkaido and has recently played 2 practice matches against Amur of Khavarovsk (an RSL team, but no idea what kind of roster the team brought over, as the box scores only indicate uniform numbers and no names).

    Game 1 ended in a 4-4 tie. All goals were scored by the 34th minute in a flurry of a first half. One of the two remaining university players, standout defenseman Haga was used in the 2nd pairing with Aaron Keller. And High1 defenseman Okubo was used in the 4th pairing, but successfully quarterbacked the power play and assisted on 2 PPGs. Kikuchi (Seibu) allowed 4 goals, though the number of shots was not recorded.

    Japan eked out a 2-1 win in game 2 against an Amur squad that was fresher after a day of rest. Obara (Seibu) scored both goals on the power play this game, and combined with his 2 PP points (1G + 1A) in game 1 and has been playing great. Haruna (Oji) continued his hot play from the AL playoffs where he reeled off 9 straight victories (only allowing more than 2 goals in a single game), as he only let in 1 of the 19 shots he faced. Haruna has the hot hand and the original Japanese NHLer Fukufuji will be tied up in the ECHL playoffs with the Bakersfield Condors, so the Oji veteran should be the starting goalie in the upcoming tournament. AL’s top scorer in recent seasons Nishiwaki who is playing with the Dayton Bombers this season, and if his team loses in the first round of the playoffs (a best of 3 play in series), then he’ll be able to squeak into Sapporo for the start of the tournament.

    JIHL/ALIH and Japanese national team veteran Ryan Kiyoshi Fujita, who always plays way above his size, was nowhere to be seen over the Amur games although he’s listed on the long list of players in training camp. It’s unknown whether he was dropped because of injury, fitness, or team plans. 

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

    Information for visitors to Sapporo Tsukisamu Arena

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 21日 Friday

    Some information about the Tsukisamu Arena in Sapporo, Japan where the 2008 IIHF World Championship Division I Group B games will be held.

    Chances are your mobile phone won’t work in Japan because Japan uses a proprietory cell system. Even overseas 3G phones won’t work just by inserting Japanese SIM cards (though things may have changed recently, so check with your local carrier). Very inconvenient for visitors, I know.

    Tsukisamu Arena has a capacity of about 3000 (this year’s AL games drew close to 2900).

    Here are some pictures of the arena:

    tst1.jpg

    dsc00521.jpg

    I recommend staying in the Susukino area of Sapporo, as that’s where the nightlife is, and it’s only 4 metro stops away from the Tsukisamu-Chuo station where the arena is situated (a 3 minute walk) on the Toho metro line.

    map

    All weekday Japan games are scheduled at 8pm, so I expect a good crowd for those games (not sure about preordering tickets). But I don’t expect much of a crowd for the other games, as Sapporo’s not a hockey town (there are some nice mountains nearby, so skiing and snowboarding are more popular) and Japanese people tend not to take many holidays.

    For the Japan team preview, most of my Asia League summary is here already:
    https://jhockey.wordpress.com/category/hockey/asia-league-ice-hockey/

    If I have the time I’ll try to do a Team Japan preview once the roster’s announced.

    Posted in 02_English, culture, food, hockey, information, International, Japan | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

    2008 IHWC Div I Group B in Sapporo

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 18日 Tuesday

    It’s amazing that this all East European (except for Japan) tournament is being held in Japan at all. I wonder what went down in the host city nomination and the subsequent voting process.

    The tournament will run from 13-19 April at Tsukisamu Arena in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan and the other participating teams are Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, and Hungary.

    This is Japan’s best chance to win the dvision and qualify for the top group, playing in front of the home crowd, and having ECHL regulars G Fukufuji (unimpressive .891 save percentage this season, but he’s on one of the worst teams in the league so all goalies at Bakersfield are sporting a sub-.900 mark after posting better numbers in previous seasons) and F Nishiwaki (14+16=30 pts in 54 games so far, but was one of the leading goal scorers in the AL the two previous seasons) on the national team with their ECHL clubs slated to miss the playoffs. ECHL season runs to the first week of April, so these two will be able to join the national team for this Div I tournament at home that’ll run from 13-19 April. Oji goalie Haruna has been having a fantastic AL playoffs, posting 1.88 GAA and .924 save % so far in 8 games, and he’s had some success in international tournies if my memory’s correct. And Seibu’s Kikuchi, who is always solid in Asia, is also available, so Japan should be solid in goal, hopefully the porous defense from last year’s tournament has somehow been improved, but I don’t see how.

    Other interesting candidates remaining on the Japan team selection squad (down to 30 now, but there will be further cuts before the start of the tournament to get down to regulation size) are D Okubo playing for High1 of the Korean entry to the AL, he totally drove their offense this past season, and led AL defensemen in assists and points. University kids D Haga of university champs Toyo University (who scored a hat trick in the university championship finals), D Yanatori of finalist Meiji Univ., and F Kuji of Waseda University are also included in the selection camp. Other players are the usual suspects from AL teams including naturalized Canadian born veteran players (all Japanese descent Nikkeis) D Aaron Keller (Oji), F Ryan Kiyoshi Fujita (Seibu), and F Darcy Mitani (Cranes).

    Interestingly, the national team will play two warm up games again Amur Khavarovsk (the B team, I assume). 1 April at Tomakomai Hakucho Arena, and 3 April at Sapporo Tsukisamu Areana, both games start at 19:00.

    The 30 man selection camp squad (in Japanese).

    IIHF website for this tournament.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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