Fukufuji gets his groove back

Fukufuji gets his groove back

20 Oct 2012 | Matthew Cross
 

Fukufuji gets a shut-out, Halla take one to over-time, High1 manages a point

 
 
 
 
Fukufuji has been out for several games with an injury. Saturday night he finally got back between the posts for the Icebucks and after their recent struggles against Anyang Halla they probably could not be happier.

Meanwhile, Swift has been almost kept out of it with only 7 shots and 1 point in the last two games after his recent outpouring against the Bucks.

After defeating the Eagles, the Cranes have carried on with their winning ways with Nishiwake leading the way with 3 goals in the last two games.

Thursday

Both the Cranes and High1 were looking to build off their last victories. High1 recovered from an overtime loss to defeat the Bucks at home, and the Cranes, having just been the first team to beat the Eagles must feel on top of the Asia League world right now.

High1 got on the board first as Hyun-min Ahn scored early in the first. However, they couldn't hold the lead as the Cranes scored later in the period while Hyon-ho Oh was in the box for elbowing, his second penalty of the period. The Cranes outshot High1 16-8 in the period.

Inoue stood tall during the second period as the Cranes peppered him with 17 shots. High1 managed only 9 in the period but kept the game tied.

In the third the game opened up a bit as the Cranes Kokubo scored early in the period and then at 7:44 Obara added one to make it 3-1. High1 got close when Kawai scored late in the period making it 3-2. High1 pulled their goalie with less than a minute to go, but near the end of the period the Cranes Osawa got the puck into the empty net.

Radja had 2 assists for the Cranes. Barney had 6 shots for High1 but couldn't solve Ishikawa.

Friday

After losing two straight to the Free Blades, Halla was looking for a little recovery against a team they'd dominated at home not too long ago. The Icebucks were no doubt looking for a little payback for the 3 straight losses.

The first period started off fairly balanced. A couple penalties each and the Bucks with a slight edge in shots 15 to 14. Despite this, the Bucks came out roaring in the second period.

The Bucks pummeled Hyun-Seung Eum with 20 shots and late in the period Ueno scored the first goal of the game after getting the puck from Bonk. Halla managed only 6 shots in the period.

In the third, Min-ho Cho tied the game up on the powerplay while Ohmachi was in the box for interference. Halla tried to up the tempo by managing 20 shots of their own to the Bucks' 11. With the game tied, it went to overtime.

In overtime, the Bucks got off 6 shots before Bembridge found the back of the net and gave the Bucks the victory over Halla.

Radunske had 8 shots on the night, but failed to bury any of them. Halla was 0 for 5 on the powerplay. Both Bembridge and Suzuki had 11 shots for the Bucks but only Bembridge ended up with a point.

Saturday

IceBucks vs Anyang Halla

Halla would play their final game of the road trip against the Bucks on Saturday. They may have been hoping for a win to help salvage the trip, but Fukufuji decided to make his return to playing form.

After the previous nights lackluster performance, Halla came out firing, and with Fukufuji back in goal, the Bucks turtled up a litte. In the first Halla out-shot the Bucks 11-9, but despite a couple powerplays they couldn't get on the board.

In the second period Halla intensified and attacked Fukufuji with 16 shots. The Bucks managed to get 9 shots again, but this time Bembridge beat Eum and got them on the board.

In the third period, Halla went for broke and unloaded 22 shots on the Japanese netminder but simply got not beat him. The Icebucks needed only 8 shots to score again Yakura made it 2-0. Halla tried pulling the goalie early. With Jackman in the box for elbowing, and two Bucks in the opposing penalty box, Halla pulled the goalie at the 56 minute mark. Unable to score, they put him back in, but pulled him again with 86 seconds left. However, not content with simply stopping all the pucks, Fukufuji passed the puck to Ueno who popped it in the empty net.

Yamaguchi got a couple assists for the Bucks while Radunske had 8 shots for Halla again. Jackman also managed 8 shots, but neither of them could find a way past the newly returned Fukufuji. After a good start to the road-trip Halla is likely grateful to be heading back to Korea.

Cranes vs High1

Eager to avoid the mistakes of Thursday night, High1 tried to get things going quickly.

In the first period though, it was the Cranes who scored first. Just three and a half minutes in Nishiwaki got his first of the game. Oh scored 3 minutes later for High1 and only a minute later Barney scored making it 2-1 for High1. High1 managed their 2 goals on only 4 shots as the Cranes out shot them 15-4 in the first period.

In the second, former High1 player Eizenman tied the game up in the dying seconds of a power play. Despites two powerplays of their own though, High1 couldn't get it in the net.

Early in the third Ishioka put High1 back on top making it 3-2. Inoue couldn't hold off the Cranes forever though, and Nishiwake scored his second of the game with 5 minutes left.

In overtime, Tonosaki needed only a single shot to give the victory to the Cranes. They outshot High1 42 to 20 in the game.

Radja got a couple of assits for the Cranes while Yu-won Lee did the same for High1. High1 and the Cranes will play again tomorrow night.

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