of hockey news to talk about so let's get straight
to it. First, Yutaka Fukufuji has finally started
playing for Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL. Yutaka
has lost some ground on the team because he had to
miss the start of the season to go to Canada to work
out some work visa business. Also, the team picked
up an AHL goalie and he has had the hot hand starting
the first 5 games of the season going 5-0. That said
just last week Yutaka finally got the nod and he did
not disappoint winning his first start allowing 1
goal and keeping the Condors in a recent game with
41 saves before losing in a shootout.
Back in the Asia League Kokudo is up to their old
tricks again starting to run away with 1st place with
a record of 14-2-2. It's alos great to see Chris Yule
back to his old self with 18 points in only 10 games
since coming back from an injury. Ryan Fujita is also
have to his best start in a couple seasons with 25
points. This team has way to much depth though. Recently
Chris Bright, last year's MVP, missed 5 games due
to a suspension and the team still didn't miss a beat.
Consider this, Tomohiko Uchiyama has 16 goals. 5 more
than the entire last place team Qiqihar!
How about Anyang Halla Winnia beating Golden Amur
twice at home?! Even though Esa Tikkanen hasn't scored
as much as hoped the team is greatly improved from
last year and is solidly in the 4th and final spot
for the playoffs.
Jiro Nihei has regained the form he had when with
Kokudo with a 2.05 GAA with the Cranes, improving
their chances as a darkhorse for the title.
What is going on with Oji Seishi and their goalies?
The teams performance has been so disappointing that
their coach Takagi was let go in mid-season, a rarity
for hockey teams in Japan. they have much more talent
than their record of 7-7-2 indicates.
It looks like GK Hashimoto might be the odd man out
in Nikko with Masahito Haruna returning after spending
last season with the Quad City Mallards of the CHL.
I for one don't think that Nikko needed him. Hashimoto
was doing a good job. Perhaps he is running out of
gas or is injured (injures aren't publisized as much
in Japan). Still, having Haruna would be better than
counting on back-up Kiyokawa.