Go to Contents Go to Navigation

Reg. season champ Anyang Halla seeking revenge vs. Japanese rival in Asian hockey playoffs

All Headlines 11:35 March 08, 2016

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- The regular season champion Anyang Halla will be licking their chops when they face their bitter Japanese rival in the semifinals of the Asia League Ice Hockey (ALIH) starting this weekend.

Anyang, which earned the bye to the semifinals, will take on Tohoku Free Blades, which finished fifth in the regular season but knocked out Oji Eagles in the first round of the playoffs.

Game 1 of the series is 5 p.m. Saturday at Anyang Ice Arena in Anyang, Gyeonggi Province. The first three games of the best-of-five series will be held at Anyang, giving the higher seed a chance to clinch the series on home ice without hitting the road.

It will be the rematch of last year's championship final, where the Free Blades swept Anyang in three consecutive games on the road to stun the South Korean club. Anyang had posted the best record in the regular season and swept aside another Korean club, High 1, in the semifinals before bowing out to Tohoku.

In the 2015-2016 season, Anyang set the ALIH record with 114 points and won all six meetings against the Free Blades.

Their high-octane offense, which tied Sakhalin for the league lead with 206 goals, will be led by the regular season MVP Mike Testwuide.

The U.S.-born forward, since naturalized as a Korean citizen, scored the league-high 35 goals in 46 games. In six games against Tohoku, Testwuide had four goals and four assists.

Fellow forward Cho Min-ho, named to the league's season-end All-Star team, finished second in the ALIH with 48 assists in 48 games, and picked up two goals and six assists against Tohoku.

Anyang's No. 1 goalie, Matt Dalton, allowed just eight goals in five games against Tohoku, for the goals against average (GAA) of 1.60 and a save percentage of .942. His backup, Son Ho-sung, gave up two goals in his one appearance versus the Free Blades and had a .935 save percentage.

In contrast, Tokoku's netminders struggled mightily against Anyang. Yuto Itoh had a 3.53 GAA and a .908 save percentage in four games, while Michikazu Hata had a dismal 6.06 GAA and a .819 save percentage in two appearances.

On the other side of the bracket, Sakhalin, one behind Anyang in the regular season, will face No. 3 seed Nippon Paper Cranes, which knocked out Nikko Icebucks in the first round.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
(END)

HOME TOP
Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!