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    Free Blades roster set!

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 August 22日 Saturday

    The new entry into the Asia League for the upcoming 2009-10 season, the Tohoku Free Blades, have finally signed enough players to form a complete roster. The new players should significantly improve the team and hopefully not make them a yearlong doormat in their expansion season (since the China Sharks don’t have Wade Flaherty anymore, there’s hope).

    New players:

    F Akiyumi Okuyama 31GP 1G+1A=2P (Oji)

    F Masahito Suzuki 34GP 4+11=15 (Oji)

    F Bin Ishioka 36GP 8+10=18 (Seibu) – Bin’s move to China turned out to be just an unconfirmed rumour

    D Kazumoto Imajo (Chuo University captain – was supposed to join the now defunct Seibu Prince Rabbits)

    D Steve Munn (AHL/ECHL)

    D Brad Farynuk (AHL/ECHL)

    LW Bruce Mulherin (EIHL/ECHL)

    LW Jon Smyth (Bundesliga 2nd Division)

    All 4 imports are Canadian.


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

    Go Tanaka to Germany

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 27日 Saturday

    Japanese national team and former Seibu Prince Rabbit forward Go Tanaka has signed a one year contract with ESV Kaufbeuren (his picture’s already on the team roster page), a team that apparently just got promoted to Bundesliga 2nd division. Since this is only one level removed from the DEL, an elite European league, Tanaka figures to be closer to elite level play than Yutaka Fukufuji who has just signed to play in the Netherlands. Look for both players to represent Japan in the IIHF World Championships next year though.


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

    Fred Brathwaite on Team Canada!

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 22日 Wednesday

    Fred Brathwaite is the 3rd goaltender for Team Canada at the IIHF 2009 World Championships in Zurich, Switzerland. It’s great to see the national program recognize Fred’s success with the Mannheim Eagles this past season, and his success in Europe in general.

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

    Fred wins DEL MVP!

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 3日 Tuesday

    Adler Mannheim goalie and Nepean native Fred Brathwaite (stats) wins the player of the year in the DEL (German Hockey League). Congratulations!


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

    Team Japan for Vancouver 2010 Final Qualifying

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 January 23日 Friday

    Team Japan was announced on 15 January for the final round of qualifying for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Japan is in a very tough group against Austria, Slovenia, and hosts Germany. The games will take place 5-8 February in Hannover. The winner of the group will qualify for the Vancouver Olympics. Japan is essentially going into this round of qualifying with the exact same team that won the first round of qualifying in Poland last November. The team will hold camp in Italy from 27 Jan – 2 Feb before heading over to Hannover. You can see each player’s individual stats in the 2008-09 Asia League.

    GK Haruna (35) Oji Eagles    
    GK Ishikawa (27) Nippon Paper Cranes
    GK Kikuchi (33) Seibu Prince Rabbits
    DF J. Tonosaki (25) Nippon Paper Cranes
    DF Miyauchi (36) Seibu Prince Rabbits
    DF Osawa (30) Nippon Paper Cranes
    DF R. Kawai (24) Seibu Prince Rabbits
    DF Minami (23) Oji Eagles
    DF Yamashita (21) Oji Eagles
    DF Keller (33) Oji Eagles
    FW Domeki (25) Oji Eagles
    FW Kon (30) Seibu Prince Rabbits
    FW Kamino (29) Seibu Prince Rabbits
    FW Ogawa (26) Oji Eagles
    FW G. Tanaka (25) Seibu Prince Rabbits
    FW Obara (27) Seibu Prince Rabbits
    FW Iimura (27) Nippon Paper Cranes
    FW T. Suzuki (33) Seibu Prince Rabbits
    FW Ta. Saito (27) Oji Eagles
    FW Mitani (35) Nippon Paper Cranes
    FW Te. Saito (25) Oji Eagles
    FW Nishiwaki (26) Nippon Paper Cranes
    FW S. Sato (25) Seibu Prince Rabbits

    IIHF World Rankings:

    Germany (10), Slovenia (15), Austria (16), Japan (22)

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

    Seibu Prince Rabbits German trip over

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 1日 Monday

    Seibu Prince Rabbits completed their tough training camp in Bavaria is over. Here are the results, the team played its best game against the DEL side Ingolstadt in a SO loss, and finally won a game against 3rd division Kaufbeauren in its last game on the 11 day 6 game trip. The first few days the team had to also fight off jet lag, which I think contributed to the poor showing overall, as the team only arrived in Germany on the 20th, the day before the first game.

    8.21 SEIBU 0 – 3 EHC Munchen

    8.22 SEIBU 4 (0-6, 3-1, 0-3) 9 EV Fussen

    8.24 SEIBU 2 (2-1, 0-1, 0-0, SO 0-1) 3 ERC Ingolstadt (DEL)

    8.26 SEIBU 0 (0-3, 0-0, 0-1) EV Ravensburg

    8.29 SEIBU 2 (1-1, 1-2, 0-1) 4 Ausburger Panther (DEL)

    0:1 (08:10) Gordon (Barney, Buzas)

    1:1 (18:24) Kamino (Kawai, Kawamura)

    1:2 (21:02) Gordon (Olimb, Hunt)

    1:3 (37:56) Engelhardt (Barney)

    2:3 (39:01) Fujita (Rochefort, Prpic)

    2:4 (49:18) Chartier (Junk)

    Attendance: 1,172

    8.31 SEIBU 4 (2-0, 0-1, 2-2) 3 ESV Kaufbeuren

    1:0 (13:22) Kawamura (Fujita, Kashino)

    2:0 (15:29) Miura (Tanaka, Okubo) SH

    2:1 (37:35) Saurette (McFeeters, Ekblad) PP

    3:1 (42:57) Okubo

    3:2 (48:06) Webb (Saurette, McFeeters)

    4:2 (51:31) Fujita (Ishioka, Uchiyama)

    4:3 (54:22) Hess

    Attendance: 1,274

    Fujita and Okubo (back in Japan after 2 seasons in Korea) are involved in a lot of scoring playing and they seem to be on form already. And Obara was trying out for Augsburg but didn’t make the cut and will be a hare again this season. Even if he did make the team though, it would’ve most likely have been just a 1 season rental type transfer, which doesn’t help that much in terms of raising the level of Japanese hockey as a whole. To do this players have to fully commit themselves to playing overseas, but playing hockey in Japan is financially secure compared to European leagues or North American minor leagues, so Japanese hockey national team isn’t getting better like its soccer counterpart. The equipment manager has some interesting photos from the the trip on his blog, outdoor rink with a roof, that’s very European (though German leagues are changing the rules next season so that these rinks will have walls), never seen one here in Japan or Canada.

    Next up in the Asia League preseason is the Anyang Cup. This season it will be contested between the hosts Anyang Halla, High1, Nippon Paper Cranes, Oji Eagles, and the China Sharks.

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

    Baseball and Hockey Blogalog

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 August 29日 Friday

    Deanna has another great interview, this time an insightful and long interview with the veteran (of NPB and other leagues) Fernando Seguinol. The Fighters in Sapporo Dome, Shinjo, playing in various countries, his travelling season so far, playing for Katsuya Nomura, different approaches at the plate playing for different organizations in different countries, learning the language, etc. all very interesting stuff.

    Update from the Seibu Prince Rabbits equipment manager about their Bavaria training camp. The team lost again, this time to a team in the second tier German league, but apparently the goalie Kikuchi is playing well and even received applause from the local fans. The defence must’ve been really porous giving up lots of shots. Anyways, there’s a funny anecdote (with pictures) about how him and another player went swimming in the cold lake after the team cycled up to the castle at Hussen. Most players are not strong swimmers because most Japanese hockey players are from Hokkaido where they don’t have swimming during phys ed. I’ll do a wrap on their Bavarian trip after their last game on the 31st. Japan NT and Seibu player Ryuichi Kawai has some pictures up from their Ingolstadt game, the atmosphere does look amazing, his brother Takuma is the first Japanese major junior player and is on Gatineau.

    One time LA King, and current ECHL Bakersfield Condors goalie, Yutaka Fukufuji visited Oji Eagle Kei Tonosaki in Tomakomai. They both entered Kokudo (which merged with Seibu) at age 18 and are now 26 year olds, how time flies. Fukufuji blanked a visiting Team Canada (Allan Cup winner, best amateur team in the country) in a warm up game in Tokyo before a Nagano Cup some years back, I guess that would be around 2000, when he was still a high schooler.

    Kazuma Takahashi explains his current situation, having to train alone because he’s not on any team yet, and how team building works differently between Japan/Europe and North America. In Japan and Europe the team is set during the off season, but in North America only the core of the team is set during the offseason, and the rest are based on tryouts during training camp, that’s how he ended up on the ECHL Utah Grizzlies (which was a step or two up from the previous season he spent in the SPHL.

    Good luck on the upcoming season to all the players!

    And, back to baseball, former Hanshin Tigers ace Kei Igawa has proven himself a true ace in America as well… in AAA. His numbers so far are 13-5, 3.55ERA, 6.92K/9, 2.64K/BB, 1.19WHIP. But got whipped around in his brief MLB stint again with 13.50ERA in 4IP in 2 appearances. Note to Japanese pitchers trying to break into the majors, you need something more than a decent fastball, mediocre location, and a good changeup.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, baseball, culture, ECHL, hockey, information, MLB, NPB, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    SEIBU Prince Rabbits August Germany Trip

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 27日 Sunday

    SEIBU Prince Rabbits of Asia League Ice Hockey is planning a late August training camp in Bavaria in southern Germany. They have scheduled 2 games against DEL (top German league, and one of the best in Europe) teams so this should be very interesting in gauging the strength of the team and the league, as Seibu are perenially one of the best teams in the league. All other opponents are in the Bundesliga, one level below the DEL.

    8/21 vs EHC Munchen
    8/22 vs EV Fussen
    8/24 vs ERC Ingolstadt (DEL)
    8/26 vs EV Ravensburg
    8/29 vs Ausburger Panther (DEL)
    8/31 vs ESV Kaufbeuren

    Also, the official 2008-09 AL schedule has been announced.

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

    SEIBU プリンスラビッツのドイツ遠征

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 26日 Saturday

    アイスホッケー・アジアリーグのSEIBU プリンスラビッツが、8月下旬をドイツ南部のバイエルンで過ごし、結構過密な日程で練習試合を組んでいる事が分かりました。しかも11日間6試合中2試合の相手が欧州有数のリーグDEL(ドイツのトップリーグ)のチームです。SEIBU、日本、そしてアジアホッケーのレベルチェックができそうですね(試合結果が分かれば)。

    8/21 vs EHC Munchen
    8/22 vs EV Fussen
    8/24 vs ERC Ingolstadt (DEL)
    8/26 vs EV Ravensburg
    8/29 vs Ausburger Panther (DEL)
    8/31 vs ESV Kaufbeuren

    あと、以前ここでも書いたアジアリーグから日程の正式発表がありましたね。全チーム6試合総当りはフェアなので、とても良い方式だと思います。 私の情報源が結構正確で安心しましたw

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