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  • Posts Tagged ‘world championships’

    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 »

    ECHL Playoffs update

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 28日 Monday

    Fukufuji almost singlehandedly won the first round of the ECHL playoffs for his Bakersfield Condors against the Victoria Salmon Kings, but he was spraygunned with 61 shots, so it would’ve been a true miracle had the Condors won, as Victoria was truly superior in every other facet of the game. Fukufuji intends on playing in North America again next season, hopefully he’ll get a chance with an AHL club.


    Every party has a spoil-sport and this one almost did, too. His name was Yutaka Fukufuji. The Bakersfield Condors goaltender was the reason the Salmon Kings were forced into overtime for the victory.

    Fukufuji, the first Japanese-born player to play in the NHL, almost single-handedly forced a Game 7. Regulation time was dominated in almost every facet by the Salmon Kings. Every aspect except one — goaltending.

    The shots clock at the end of regulation time read a glaring 57-23 in favour of Victoria and ended 61-25.

    “He [Fukufuji] stood on his head all series and kept them in it,” said Goldie.

    “But we knew if we kept putting the shots on him, some had to eventually go in and we got one more goal than they did tonight.”

    But the dominant Salmon Kings not only had to solve the gallant crease efforts of Fukufuji, they had to do it by contending with five against-the-grain goals by the Condors that kept pulses pounding amid the deafening din caused by the near sold-out crowd.

    Despite holding a wide edge in play, the Salmon Kings had to fight back from 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3 deficits. But after finally taking a 5-4 lead on third-period goals by Marc-Andre Bernier and Ryan Wade, the Salmon Kings saw the opportunistic Condors tie it 5-5 on former Senators draft-pick Andrew Ianiero’s fifth goal of the series at 13:16 of the third period.

    In a game in which the shots were flowing for them like winter-rain water out of the Sooke Reservoir, the S-Kings were forced into the strange and painstaking position of trying to climb back into a game that might have turned into a blowout against a goalie of lesser calibre that Fukufuji.

    Bernier had two goals for Victoria and Wade, Chris St. Jacques and Paul Ballantyne one each. Ianiero led the Condors with two goals.

    But the biggest goalbelonged to the tricky Goldie in OT, who took a lovely two-on-one pass from Estrada and made a move around Fukufuji that was truly worthy of a golden goal.

    Now the Salmon Kings are facing the Utah Grizzlies in the second round. The Grizzlies feature Japanese forward Kazuma Takahashi, but he was a healthy scratch and didn’t make the trip up to Victoria for the first 2 games of the series, which the teams split with blowout scores of 6-0 and 1-6.

    As reported earlier Nishiwaki’s Dayton Bombers lost the best of 3 mini playoff round, so he flew back to Japan in time to play in the World Championships Division I B which was hosted by Sapporo. He played well in the tournament, but it was not enough for Japan to advance to the top division as Japan finished a strong 3rd in the tourney.

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

    Problems faced by Japanese and Asian hockey

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 15日 Tuesday

    Just an excerpt from my exchange at International Hockey Forum regarding the development of Japanese and Asian hockey.

    Originally Posted by leksandstars
    I saw a funny thing about Japanese hockey. they got almost 80% more Senior players then Sweden have almost as much players as Switzerland, Germany and Austria have registered together, and still they are not so good,. It must have to do on the lack of interest from sponsors etc, if u play hockey and wanna be better u need to put away almost 100% focus for only hockey and with no pay checks if they not have in Japanese league that isnt possible, they need to bring home food to their childrens, am i right?? I think its money that is the difference, Asian player got good technique are very sppedy maybe not the roughest and stabile team japenese have a overall lenght in their country that is kindda tall^^

    Yup, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The lack of sponsors means, lack of pro teams, which means lack of players who can continue their career as pros and maybe become late bloomers. Instead many promising players are dropped from the system if they do not blossom early enough in their careers to get noticed by the 4 Japanese pro teams in the AL.

    Theoretically AL teams can sign any Japanese, Korean, or Chinese player to their team and not have them count as an import. So, the 7 team AL should offer more opportunities for all players from these countries to continue playing pro, but in practice this option is rarely being used. Not having a second tier pro league beneath the AL doesn’t help either.

    So, lots of registered players, but they’re almost all on amateur club teams holding down regular jobs and can’t concentrate on hockey.

    The new rules is more advantageous to fast and skilled players, so this helps Asian nations, rather than the trapping styles where physical size and strength is more important. But Asian teams also need better team work and hockey sense, and this can only come with playing more high calibre games, which there aren’t enough opportunities to do so in Asia at the moment (so some Asian players are making their way over to NA and Europe, which helps, but more players need to go play overseas).

    Originally Posted by KazakhEagles
    And then, as quite a few countries have experienced including Japan, those players aren’t available to the national team as their clubs continue their seasons, compounding the difficulty in promoting and using their elite division status to showcase themselves and the sport to sponsors in the country. The players also miss out on sharing their overseas experience to their teammates to speed the overall program’s learning.

    Yeah, good point.

    I’m not sure what can be done to rectify that situation, other than a more unified calendar. A totally unified calendar is impossible, but it might be possible to align various national leagues schedules a little more. Then again, I guess the IIHF doesn’t want all levels of IHWC tournaments going on at once (and we wouldn’t either, as keeping up with all the different tournaments going on at the same time now is difficult enough), so we end up with the current situation.

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