Connect with us


Nikko Defeats Tohoku in All-Japan Ice Hockey Championship Final

With the All-Japan Ice Hockey Championship title up for grabs, Ice Bucks forwards Sota Isogai and Maito Omuku score third-period goals against the Free Blades.

Sota Isogai and Maito Omuku scored third-period goals on Sunday, December 10 to lead the Nikko Ice Bucks to a 4-2 win over the Tohoku Free Blades in the final of the All-Japan Ice Hockey Championship.

Makuru Furuhashi scored in the first and second periods at Shin Yokohama Skate Center for Nikko, and Masaki Tokoro and Michihiro Kyoya responded for Tohoku.

Daichi Igari took a tripping penalty midway through the third period and Isogai capitalized with a power-play goal assisted by Yuri Terao and Hiroto Sato.

Tohoku pressed for an equalizer but Omuku sealed the game with an empty-netter in the final minute.

All-Japan Ice Hockey Championship
Nikko's Sota Isogai scores a third-period goal in the All-Japan Ice Hockey Championship final. (KYODO)

All-Japan Ice Hockey Championship
Ice Bucks players celebrate after the championship final. (KYODO)

On Saturday, the Free Blades beat the Hokkaido Wilds 4-3 in a tourney semifinal to reach the final while the Ice Bucks edged the Red Eagles Hokkaido 2-1 in the other semifinal.

The Wilds are a team made up mostly of players from the Eastern Hokkaido Cranes, a club that was suspended from the Asia League Ice Hockey this season due to financial difficulties.

The All-Japan Ice Hockey Championship began in 1930, making the tournament one of the oldest sporting competitions in the country.

Nikko previously won the tournament in 2015 and 2019. And the team also won the championship four times in the 1950s and '60s when it was known as Furukawa Electric Tochigi.

All-Japan Ice Hockey Championship
Ice Bucks players celebrate the team's title-winning victory. (KYODO)

Shiga to Debut for Ottawa

Good luck to Akane Shiga, a forward on the Ottawa team in the newly formed Professional Women's Hockey League.

Shiga and her teammates will kick off the brand new season at TD Place in Canada's capital against Montreal on January 2.

Shiga, a member of Japan's national team, previously played in the now-defunct Premier Hockey Federation with the Buffalo Beauts.

The 22-year-old Shiga is a native of Obihiro, Hokkaido Prefecture. Her sister Aoi also plays for the national team.

One of her country's top goal scorers, Shiga represented Japan at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The inaugural PWHL season consists of 72 games, with each of the league's six teams competing 24 times. 

In addition to Ottawa and Montreal, the other teams in the new league are in Toronto, New York, Minnesota and Boston.

The season will take a break for the Ice Hockey Women's World Championship in April so Shiga could draw in for Smile Japan, aka the women's national team.

Hopefully, the league can succeed where others have failed. 

The National Women's Hockey League was a women's professional hockey league in the United States and Canada.

It eventually became the Premier Hockey Federation and lasted from 2015 before morphing into the PWHL.


Author: Jim Armstrong

The author is a longtime journalist who has covered sports in Japan for over 25 years. You can find his articles on SportsLook.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


Sign-Up to Our Newsletter


Receive regular sports updates and news directly in your inbox

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Advertisement Take a Food Journey Around the World!

More in News