Japan, Hockey, Baseball, etc.

Mostly about Asian ice hockey, Japanese baseball, other sports, and random tidbits

  • Categories

  • 人気の記事

  • Archives

  • 2008 2009 anyang baystars beijing buffaloes canada carp china cl cranes darvish eagles fighters free blades giants halla hanshin High1 Hiroshima hokkaido humor humour Ice Bucks icebucks ice hockey ihwc IIHF Japan KHL korea koshien lions lotte marines nikko nippon paper Oji OPS pacific league pl prince rabbits rakuten saitama sapporo seibu sharks swallows tigers tohoku uniform wbc yakult yokohama yomiuri アイスホッケー アメリカ オリンピック カナダ スウェーデン セイバーメトリクス ドイツ バンクーバー プロ野球 メジャー ユニフォーム ロシア 世界選手権 中国 五輪 日本 日本代表 札幌 西武 野球
  • Pages

  • Meta

  • Advertisements

    Posts Tagged ‘Ice Bucks’

    アイスバックス対フリーブレイズ・プレシーズンゲーム

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 August 11日 Tuesday

    対戦カード:日光アイスバックス VS 東北フリーブレイズ

    日時:2009年8月29日(土) 14:00~
    8月30日(日) 14:00~

    場所:栃木県立日光霧降アイスアリーナ

    観戦料:指定席1,500円/自由席1,000円

    ※大人・子供も同料金となります

    前売取扱所:H.C.TOCHIGI日光アイスバックス事務所(http://www.icebucks.jp/)
    栃木県日光市稲荷町2-360-9
    電話0288-53-5166

    主催:(株)スポニチプライム/H.C.TOCHIGI日光アイスバックス

    Preseason games between the Nikko Ice Bucks and Tohoku Free Blades will be held in Nikko on 29-30 (Sat-Sun) of August, faceoff at 14:00, tickets are 1500 yen for reserved seats, 1000 yen for general admission.

    Advertisements

    Posted in 01_日本語, 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, Japan | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Free Blades sign two players and open camp

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 August 4日 Tuesday

    The Tohoku Free Blades have finally officially signed new players to bring their player count up to 16 (still far short of the minimum 23 player roster for the Asia League).

    Starting goalie will be ex-Ice Buck Michio Hashimoto, the 32 year old veteran will keep the new team respectable, and he is a product of the local Hachinohe hockey scene. Hashimoto appeared in 32 games for the Bucks last season and posted an 89.7% save percentage.

    Blades have also signed Yoshikazu Kashino from the defunct Seibu Prince Rabbits. Kashino played in 20 games and recorded no points last season.

    The team has opened camp in Hachinohe, Aomori on 3 August.

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

    Free Blades update

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 August 2日 Sunday

    Still no word on additional players on the meagre 14 man roster that’s supposed to be expanded to 23 players by 19 September when the 2009-10 Asia League season opens. (28 July, Hokkaido Shimbun newspaper)

    “東北”はゼビオの子会社が運営している。
    現在、14人いる部員を、9月19日のリーグ開幕までに23人に
    増やすという。(7月28日北海道新聞 朝刊)

    The Blades have also acquired Chris Wakabayashi the former manager of Seibu Prince Rabbits as its Head Coach to assist Manager Keisuke Araki.

    アイスホッケーのアジア・リーグに新たに来季から加わる東北フリーブレイズは27日、3月限りで解散した西武の監督だった若林クリス氏がヘッドコーチに就任すると発表した。荒城啓介監督を補佐する。

    There are rumours that the Blades will be able to sign more than 2 imports that other Japanese clubs are limited to. Also, rumour has it that now free agent former Ice Bucks starting goalie Michio Hashimoto is going to join the Blades, as he got pushed out of the Bucks by national team goalie Kikuchi, and Hashimoto is from the Tohoku area where the Blades call home.

    And finally, there are supposed to be 2 preseason matches against the HC Tochigi Ice Bucks (team renamed from the city of Nikko to the prefecture of Tochigi) on 29 (Sat) and 30 (Sun) of August at 14:00 (location unknown).

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

    Martin Kariya

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 July 18日 Saturday

    Martin Kariya has apparently signed with Dinamo Riga (Latvia) of the KHL. Must’ve been quite an attractive offer to lure Martin away from the Swiss league where life is comfortable and his stats last season were 50GP 15G+43A=58P. Martin, of course, played half a season for the Nikko Ice Bucks in 2004-05 (15GP 6+12=18).

    2004-05 に半シーズン(15試合6得点12アシスト=18ポイント)だけ日光アイスバックスでプレーしたマーティン・カリヤが、KHL のディナモ・リガ(ラトビア)と契約したようです。マーティンは昨シーズンにスイスのトップリーグでプレーし、50試合で15得点43アシスト=58ポイントと良い成績を残した上、スイスリーグもヨーロッパのエリートリーグの一つですので、リガのオファーはかなり好条件だったのではないでしょうか。

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

    Bucks acquire 6 Seibu veterans

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 28日 Sunday

    The Nikko Ice Bucks of Asia League Ice Hockey has acquired six veterans from the now defunct Seibu Prince Rabbits. The new players include Japanese national team captain Takahito Suzuki, national team goalie Naoya Kikuchi, defencemen Kazuyoshi Yamaguchi, Tomohito Okubo, and Masahiro Kawamura, as well as forward Tomohiko Uchiyama.

    This basically gives the Bucks an entirely new and capable first set with a national team goalie and makes them instant playoff contenders instead of fighting to escape the cellar with the China Sharks. No word on what the new players will get paid but they are likely taking a significant pay cut as the Bucks operate at about 2-oku yen ($2m) budget while Seibu ran with about 5-oku ($5m).

    All the newcomers are 29 or older, so the Bucks will be looking for immediate results. Suzuki had received offers from other teams, but settled with the Bucks who are coached by his childhood friend and former Toyo University teammate Tadahiro Murai. Okubo and Yamaguchi had previous stints with the Bucks, four and six years ago, respectively. All but Okubo have national team experience, this instantly increases the number of national team players on the Bucks from zero to five.

    2008-09 regular season stats

    Suzuki 36GP, 16G+29A=45P (6th, 4th, and 4th in the league)

    Uchiyama 36, 7+8=15

    Okubo 36, 4+18=22 (expect this offensive defenceman to quarterback the powerplay)

    Yamaguchi 35, 1+2=3

    Kawamura 22, 4+9=13

    Kikuchi 32GP, 90.5 SV%, 2.85GAA

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, International, Japan, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    Asia League player movement

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 7日 Sunday

    A few of the former Seibu Prince Rabbits players have found new homes this offseason after the team was shut down by its parent company Seibu Holdings. All these players so far are national team players.

    Yosuke Kon, Sho Sato (both forwards) to Oji Eagles, joining former Seibu/Kokudo player Kei Tonosaki on the team.

    Daisuke Obara (forward) to Nippon Paper Cranes, he’ll wear #76 with the Cranes, joining former Seibu/Kokudo forward Chris Yule on the team.

    In addition, productive Nikko Ice Bucks defenceman Takyuki Ono (one of the three on the team to notch over 1o points last season) has signed with Korean powerhouse Anyang Halla (Japanese, Korean, and Chinese players do not count as imports in the Asia League).

    The word is still out on the rest of the Rabbits squad (about half are expected to take up regular jobs within the Seibu Group), and of a possible new club team being founded at Higashifushimi, the former home of the Seibu/Kokudo teams, the chances are slim to nil as there is clear lack of a big time financial backer. And there’s still no word yet on how the new entrant in the league, Tohoku Free Blades, are doing to bolster their currently barebones lineup in preparation for their inaugural Asia League season in 2009-10.

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

    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 »

    2008-09 AL Season Review

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 9日 Thursday

    I’m currently lacking both the brain cells and the time to do this properly, so the 2008-09 Asia League Ice Hockey season will be reviewed in bullet point style.

    • Nippon Paper Cranes reign supreme again! Asia League power house returns to the top after fighting through 3 rounds of playoffs, and going the full 7 in both the semi and finals. The Cranes last won the trophy 2 seasons ago, so it was a short absence from the top.
    • Seibu Prince Rabbits fold. The tin foil hat says that this is part of Seibu Group’s attempt to rid of Tsutsumi colours (including the baseball team’s uniform colour, literally). There’s hope of the team being resurrected as an independent pro club team as seen in an earlier post on this blog.
    • Anyang Halla is back, but High1 falls back. Anyang Halla added quality imports, got its sniper Song Dong-Hwan back from 2 years of military service (he didn’t miss a beat, being 4th in league scoring 3 seasons ago as well as this past season), and rookies who immediately contributed by finishing top 10 in scoring (Kim Ki-Sung and Park Woo-Sang who were just from universities drafted in the offseason). High1 was 2nd in the 2007-08 regular season, but fell down to 5th place and immediately got swept in the first round play in against the Cranes. 1st to 4th this year was a complete toss up, but then there was a big gap to High1 in 4th. High1 will be looking to climb back up to the top half of the table next season, and especially not to finish the season below their Korean rivals Halla.
    • The bottom of the table was occupied by the usual suspects, the Nikko Ice Bucks and the Chinese entry, the China Sharks. But things were upside down this past season with the Sharks crawling out of the basement thanks in large part to Wade Flaherty’s Herculian efforts (he won the Best Goalie Award) and kicked the troubled Bucks down into the basement. 
    • Since there were no double digit blowouts like in previous seasons when teams could run up the score on Chinese teams, finally for the first time, stats in the Asia League is actually quite credible (no need to sift through strength of schedule, opponents, and run a query). So let’s take a look at the scoring board:
    • 0809_al_scoring
    • High powered offence of Halla has 5  players ranked in the top 11, including a rookie in Kim Ki-Sung, and sniper Song Dong-Hwan who returned to the league after missing the last 2 seasons due to mandatory military service for all Korean adult males (except big time celebrities and sports figures it seems, if they can win exemptions or wiggle their way out). There are many of the usual suspects on the list including Suzuki and Prpic of Seibu, but who knows what their future holds for now. And Chris Yule showed his former team that he was still an offensive force. 
    • Additionally, defenceman Jon Awe (AHL 12+17=29) finished on top of scoring for defencemen ahead of Asia League and national team vet Aaron Keller (OJI 5+19=24) and AL sophomore Richard Rochefort (SPR 7+17=24), and Halla’s other import Brad Fast (7+27 = 34) ranked high in league scoring, prompting an unprecedented move by an AL team when Anyang Halla re-signed all their imports to multi-year deals with scoring leader Brock Radunski signing a 3-year contract and the others to 2-years.
    • This was in part prompted by Halla’s awesome offence as they became the first non-Japanese team to win the regular season (and were one win away from becoming the first non-Japanese team in the playoff finals). The awesome Halla offence racked up 150 goals in 36 games for a very impressive 4.17 G/G with and converted astonishing 38% of their power play chances for 54 goals. I’m sure Halla is glad to have their offence intact for next season, as they were only a win away from reaching the finals.
    • While all other teams allowed 95 goals or more, the finally nicknamed Oji Eagles impressively only let in 77 goals, and were also 2nd in the league in both the power play and the penalty kill.
    • Finally, since Deanna brought her big camera with her to game 7 of the finals, we have some good pictures of the final game for the Seibu Prince Rabbits.

    (Photos courtesy of Deanna)

    Cranes celebrate first goal of the game by Darcy Mitani.

    186-goalscored

    Seibu Prince Rabbits and Japan national team captain Takahito Suzuki who almost singlehandedly won the championship for Seibu, scoring the game winner with 45 seconds left in game 6, then both of Seibu’s goals in game 7.

    037-suzuki1

    Cranes goalie Hisashi Ishikawa, the playoff MVP, who unbelievably stopped 54 of 56 shots for the game 7 victory.

    284-ishikawa

    Cranes with the Asia League trophy, congratulations!! (and let’s hope there are at least 7 teams in the league again next season..)

    460-trophy

    more photos after this break:

    Read the rest of this entry »

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

    2009 All Japan Championship details

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 8日 Wednesday

    Not all of them but here they are. 

    Thu 12 Feb. Round 3
    Tomakomai-Komazawa U 7 – 1 Vanguards (Higashifushimi)
    Kansai U 3 – 0 Toyota Hokkaido Centuries (Higashifushimi)
    Waseda U 3 – 1 Hachinohe Kodai1 High School (Shin-Yokohama)
    Meiji U 6 – 1 Tomakomai City Hall (Shin-Yokohama)

    Fri 13 Feb. Quarterfinals
    Seibu Prince Rabbits 7 – 0 Tomakomai-Komazawa U (Higashifushimi)
    Kansai U 0 – 2 HC Nikko Ice Bucks (Higashifushimi)
    Oji Eagles 6 – 2 Waseda U (Shin-Yokohama)
    Meiji U 2 – 4 Nippon Paper Cranes (Shin-Yokohama)

    Sat 14 Feb. Semifinals
    Seibu Prince Rabbits 5 – 4 HC Nikko Ice Bucks (Higashifushimi)
    Oji Eagles 2 – 4 Nippon Paper Cranes (Higashifushimi)

    Sun 15 Feb. Finals/Bronze game
    Bronze: HC Nikko Ice Bucks 2 – 5 Oji Eagles (Higashifushimi)
    Finals: Seibu Prince Rabbits 6 (1-0, 2-4, 3-1) 5 Nippon Paper Cranes (Higashifushimi)

    Scoring:

    Seibu 18:02 Ishioka
    Cranes 27:45 Haratake
    Seibu 30:33 Tanaka
    Seibu 30:43 Prpic
    Cranes 30:59 M. Ito
    Cranes 32:42 Nishiwaki
    Cranes 38:37 Iimura
    Cranes 45:49 Mitani
    Seibu 47:46 Suzuki
    Seibu 52:03 Obara
    Seibu 57:09 Prpic
    —————-

    Tournament MVP: Go Tanaka F (Seibu)

    This year, all quarterfinalists who got to play the Asia League teams were university teams. On the way to the quarters, the uni teams beat a couple of senior amateur teams (Toyota and Tomakomai City Hall) and a high school team from Hachinohe! The high school team beat a Hokkaido senior amateur squad Tadano to get to the quarters, though the high schoolers were seeded above a couple of senior amateur teams. It all concluded with an exciting high scoring final that saw the teams trading leads, and Joel Prpic cashing in with the championship winner with less than 3 minutes remaining in regulation.

    Here’s the full results (the JIHF tournament page) in Japanese:
    http://www.jihf.or.jp/jihf/data/schedule.php?id=160

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

    Blades and Bucks update

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 2日 Monday

    The Tohoku Free Blades played an exhibition match against the last place Asia League team Nikko Ice Bucks on 28 Feb during the Ice Bucks Fan Appreciation Day. The game was 3 periods of 15 minutes each, and the Bucks won easily 8-3. But the real news was that the Free Blades only had 15 players dressed. 2 goalies, 6 defencemen, and 7 forwards. I assume that the Blades are going to sign the rest of the players during the off season, depending on whether they’re accepted into the Asia League or not (decision on signing imports and their number depends on this). 

    Bucks in black and Blades in grey, not sure if the Blades uniforms are just practice unis or the real thing:

    blades1

    blades2

    Also a note of concern was that the Bucks were only able to draw 572 fans to the exhibition match despite it only costing 1000 yen and the event being held on a Saturday. Then Bucks supporters club used to have over 4000 members, but is now hovering around 1000 members. I pray that the Bucks survive (currently they’re carrying more than 100 million yen = $1m in debt on an operating budget of about 250 million yen per year) and that the Blades join the Asia League now that Seibu Prince Rabbits are folding (the best option here would be another company buying the team or it becoming a club team, but this is very unlikely in the current economic climate).

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