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  • Posts Tagged ‘world championship’

    Eri Kiribuchi at the Worlds

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 22日 Wednesday

    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.


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

    Quarterfinals set for 2008 Worlds

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 14日 Wednesday

    The quarterfinals for the 2008 World Championship in Halifax and Quebec City has been set. With the disappointing performance (combined with the ineligible German player controversy) sent Slovakia down to a relegation series against Slovenia, which it won (France, with Huet being the difference maker, won the other relegation battle against Italy.)

    Quarterfinals on 14 May are:

    Czech Republic – Sweden

    Norway – Canada

    Russia – Switzerland

    USA – Finland

    The CZE-SWE and RUS-FIN matches will be great clashes of titans, and the Swiss are always strong and can easily give the talented Russian squad a run for its money. Canada has the easiest draw, but the team only won 2-1 over Norway thanks to a last minute Nash goal, so we’ll see if Grotnes can pull off the supergoalie gig yet again. 

    Some great quotes from the Norwegians  🙂

    Even getting this far is an amazing triumph for the Norwegian national hockey program, which operates on an annual budget of less than $1-million. Heatley alone operates on an annual budget 10 times that.

    It is a team that boasts a former NHL player, 32-year-old Anders Myrvold, who last played for the Detroit Red Wings in 2004, and a collection of European professionals, semi-pros and amateurs.

    But they have, Myrvold said, a secret weapon.

    “We have Viking blood,” he said. “You know Viking blood? It doesn’t exist in Canada.”

    The players are salesmen and teachers – one for kindergarten – but mostly they are in building trades, carpenters like Grotnes, electricians and plumbers.

    “If you need anything, just give us a call,” Myrvold said with a laugh. “You can’t call the Canadian team. All they can do is play hockey.”


    Surprisingly, attendance has been disappointing, especially in Halifax where all Canada games have been held so far.

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

    Halifax Forum

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 8日 Thursday

    Great IIHF article on one of the older arenas in Canada that normally stays out of the limelight (this time too, as it is a practice facility). The Kitchener Memorial Auditorium was an awesome barn, with about 6000 capacity, when I saw a game there last year. They’re adding a couple of thousand seats to the arena though, so I wonder how the new Aud will feel. The games head into the 2nd round and relegation series after the games today. A doozy of good looking games on schedule today (Sweden-Switzerland, Finland-Slovakia, Belarus-France, Norway-Germany). 

    HALIFAX – The voice behind “cannonading drive” started here, and the Voyageurs thrived in this gem of a barn that now is the practice facility for the IIHF World Championship in Halifax.

    The hallways are concrete and the seats made of wood. The smell of ice and Zamboni fumes hit you the moment you walk into the time machine known as the Forum. Built in 1927, it was the first arena with artificial ice east of Montreal. Today, it is a busy remnant of bygone days, a veritable active museum of sorts.

    When it opened officially on December 21, 1927, the Forum was packed to the rafters. Some 5,500 fans can squeeze in for big games, and over the years there have been many. The roof is almost flat and made of wood. Large tarps hang just below the ceiling to catch dust and dirt. 

    Steel beams near the ice create obstructed views for some fans, but the most remarkable thing about watching a game here is the sound. From every seat in the house you can hear players talk on the bench, officials howl “icing!” and players holler “yep” as they look for a pass. You are not just watching a game here—you are part of the game.

    Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, 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 »

    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 »

    Japanese National Team Final Roster

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 13日 Sunday

    The final 23-man roster for the Japanese National Team (Pos, Name, Club Team) for the 2008 Ice Hockey World Championships Division I Group B in Sapporo, Japan (13-19 April):


    GK 1  Haruna (Oji)

    GK 29  Kikuchi (Seibu)

    GK 30  Ishikawa (Cranes)


    DF 2  Tonosaki, Jun (Cranes)

    DF 4  Keller (Oji)

    DF 5  Miyauchi (Seibu)

    DF 6  Haga (Toyo Univ)

    DF 23  Osawa (Cranes)

    DF 24  Kawai (Seibu)

    DF 27  Yanadori (Meiji Univ)


    FW 7  Domeki (Oji)

    FW 8  Kon (Seibu)

    FW 9  Sato (Seibu)

    FW 10  Kamino (Seibu)

    FW 11  Nishiwaki (Dayton Bombers)

    FW 13  Ogawa (Oji)

    FW 14  Tanaka (Seibu)

    FW 16  Obara (Seibu)

    FW 17  Iimura (Cranes)

    FW 18  Suzuki (Seibu)

    FW 19  Saito, Takeshi (Oji)

    The two university defensemen made the roster, they will be interesting to watch as they represent a future of Japanese hockey.

    ECHL Dayton’s Nishiwaki is on the team, I’m interested in seeing how his play style changed after a year in NA.

    Haruna should be the starting goalie, having the hot hand in the AL playoffs winning all 9 games to the championship and also in NT training camp and training matches. (He’s also my sentimental favourite, having been a long time Nikko IceBuck, singlehandedly keeping the team in too many games where they didn’t deserve, until he moved to Oji and finally captured a well deserved championship this year.)

    Obara’s been playing great in the NT training and practice matches against Amur Khavarovsk. He should be a player to watch.

    Cranes had a poor year, and that’s represented in the final roster of the NT.

    Despite Ukraine’s presence, this is Japan’s best chance for promotion with the first home tournament in 25 years! Go Japan!

    Puck drops now for the first game of the tournament!!

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

    9 Questions with Yoko Kondo

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 9日 Wednesday

    Japanese women’s national team is currently competing in the top level World Championships (that Japan qualified for by winning Division I last year) in Harbin, China. It has one game remaining in the 9 team 9 day tournament, and that will be against the hosts China in a likely relegation match that starts at 7pm tonight.

    Defender and 1998 Nagano games veteran Yoko Kondo sat down with IIHF.com to answer some questions:

    5. Which country do you have the most respect for at the championship, and why?
    Canada, because hockey is almost a religion over there. Every player understands what it means to represent your country in competition and has so much pride to be playing for Canada. They have complete professionalism and compete very hard.

    6. What player do you respect the most at this championship, and why?
    Angela Ruggiero from USA. I saw her play four years ago in Halifax and used her as my model of how I want to play. When she plays, she’s big and she uses her body really well. That’s the kind of player I want to be.

    7. What are your impressions of China?
    It’s very different. The thing that really stands out is that soon they will have the Summer Olympics in Beijing and you get the impression that all sports are very important here. I think with the Olympics here, people are really starting to support all athletics here in China.

    It turns out she played for the Ottawa Raiders of the National Women’s Hockey League (I think it’s a national league again after being split east/west) for one season in 2005-06.

    But defence partner Krista Black says that where Kondo really shines is in her speed. “Her best attribute is that she is really quick on her feet. She always gets back on defence.”

    And Kondo’s success on the ice, says Olson, has been matched by great success off the ice as well.

    “Living here and not having family here, and having to deal with the different culture must be very difficult,” she says. “But she does it somehow.”

    Olson spent a year abroad playing hockey in Sweden. While she says adapting to the new culture took time, it was made easier that there were no communication barriers.

    “At least in Sweden everyone spoke English, everyone could speak to me in my language,” she says.

    “I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have nobody around who speaks your language. I don’t know how she does it.”

    Although most out-of-town players live together in one of the Raiders’ two team houses in Manotick, Kondo lives in a basement apartment closer to downtown because getting to practice in Orleans or work in Centretown was too much of a hassle without a car.

    Kondo works about 15 to 20 hours a week at a Japanese restaurant on Bank Street.

    Mitsu Ichi, the owner, says Kondo came into the restaurant about six months ago asking if they had any openings. He was looking for some help in the kitchen during the lunch shift, so he gave her a chance.

    He says she gets along well with other workers and has been a great addition to his staff. “She is very nice, a very nice lady,”

    Olson describes Kondo as “very self-sufficient,” but says that since she lives alone, team members take turns picking her up for practices and games on their way from work or from their home in Manotick.

    “Anyone would pick her up, because we all appreciate what she is doing, and what she is going through to play for us.”

    Good luck in the game tonight to avoid relegation!

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

    Japan vs Amur Khavarovsk

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 6日 Sunday

    Game details of the Japanese national team’s 2 warm up matches against Amur Khavarovsk (this team sent its 3rd team Golden Amur into the Asia League a few seasons ago, and has been playing practices matches against various Japanese teams in the years since then, hopefully they’ll make a return to the Asia League in the near future. The continued relationship with Japanese hockey is promising.)


    Game 1 (Tomakomai, Hokkaido, Japan) 1 April 2008

    Japan 4(3-3、1-1、0-0)4 Amur

    01:48 JPN 1-0 (G)Obara (A)Tanaka (A)Okubo (PPG)
    04:08 AMU 1-1 (G)36 (A)21 (PPG)
    04:31 JPN 2-1 (G)Suzuki (A)Sato (A)Mitani
    08:22 AMU 2-2 (G)9 (A)5 (A)2
    16:06 AMU 3-2 (G)10 (A)37 (A)5 (PPG+2)
    19:37 JPN 3-3 (G)Yamashita (A)Okubo (A)Obara (PPG)

    04:29 JPN 4-3 (G)Suzuki
    13:48 AMU 4-4 (G)35 (A)77 (A)10 (PPG)

    Shoot Out
    Japan 1(○-×、×-×、×-×)0 Amur
    1:Tanaka ○
    2:Kuji ×

    1st Kuji 〜 Kon 〜 Takeshi Saito 〜 Jun Tonosaki 〜 Osawa
    2nd Sato 〜 Mitani 〜 Suzuki 〜 Keller 〜 Haga
    3rd Kei Tonosaki 〜 Obara 〜 Domeki 〜 Miyauchi 〜 Yamashita
    4th Kamino 〜 Go Tanaka 〜 Ogawa / Iimura 〜 Okubo 〜 Kawai

    GK Kikuchi 4 GA (60:00)

    Game MVP
    Yamashita (Oji)


    Game 2 (Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan) 3 April 2008

    Japan 2(0-0、1-1、1-0)1 Amur

    0:46 JPN 1-0 (G)Obara (A1)Iimura (A2)Keller (PPG+2)
    1:52 AMU 1-1 (G) 9 (A1)24
    3:28 JPN 2-1 (G)Obara (A1)Takeshi Saito (A2)Osawa (PPG)

    Japan 24-19 Amur

    Japan 8-9 Amur

    Shoot Out Exhibition
    Japan 1(○-×、×-○、×-×)1 Amur
    1:Takeshi Saito

    1st Kamino 〜 Go Tanaka 〜 Ogawa 〜 Kawai 〜 Yanadori
    2nd Domeki 〜 Kon 〜 Takeshi Saito 〜 Jun Tonosaki 〜 Osawa
    3rd Kei Tonosaki 〜 Okuyama 〜 Uchiyama 〜 Keller 〜 Haga
    4th Sato 〜 Obara / Iimura 〜 Kuji 〜 Okubo 〜 Yamashita

    GK Haruna (Oji)  GA 1 (60:00)

    Game MVP
    Obara (SEIBU)

    It turns out all 3 university players, Haga, Kuji, and Yanadori
    got a look in the 2 test matches against Amur, turns out I didn’t look
    carefully enough on my blog post earlier (doh!) They look to be promising
    young players.

    Obara is hot, and Haruna continued to look strong in goal, after winning 9 straight AL playoff games (only allowing more than 2 goals once) leading Oji to the championship and will probably be Japan’s main goalie in the tournament as Fukufuji (who became the first Japanese NHLer last season) is tied up in the ECHL playoffs with the Bakersfield Condors during IHWC.

    I have no clue what calibre of players Amur brought over for these games because names were not given in the game reports (what?) But probably they’re probably similar to the Golden Amur players (young player and over the hill veterans that participated in the AL a few seasons ago for Amur’s 3rd team).

    Japanese national team currently has 30 players in camp, and the roster will get pared down to its proper roster for the IIHF World Championship in Sapporo which starts on the 13th.

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