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Nippon Paper Cranes soar in national hockey championship

Kyodo

The Nippon Paper Cranes routed the Tohoku Free Blades in a comprehensive 6-2 victory to win their second consecutive title at the national ice hockey championship on Sunday.

Nippon paper jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Tohoku tied it 2-all, but Toshiyuki Kito rifled home the go-ahead in the second period to put the Cranes on top again at Nikko Kirifuri Ice Arena in Tochigi Prefecture.

Mike Madill, Yoshinori Iimura and Chris Yule added goals in the third period to put the game out of reach. Masahito Suzuki and Kazuki Yamamoto scored for the Free Blades, who failed to win their first championship.

The Oji Eagles defeated the Nikko Icebucks 3-0 in the playoff for third place.