The Nippon Paper Cranes earned a 4-2 win over the Seibu Prince Rabbits in Game 1 of the Asia League Ice Hockey finals on Friday at DyDo Drinco Ice Arena.
The best-of-seven series continues on Saturday at the Tokyo arena.
After the Rabbits’ Ryuichi Kawai gave his team a 1-0 lead at the 7:17 mark of the first period, the Cranes’ Masatoshi Ito tied it at 1-1 just over nine minutes later. Longtime Asia League player Chris Yule, a native of Canada, scored the go-ahead goal 17 seconds after Ito’s tally.
The Rabbits’ Daisuke Obara scored a goal 4:10 into the second period to make the score 2-2. Yule notched his second goal late in the second period. He completed the hat trick with 75 seconds left in the game.