SAPPORO – Former NHL player Joel Prpic scored the game-winning goal in overtime Monday as Kokudo beat Seibu Railways 1-0 in the final to win its eighth national All-Japan ice hockey championship.
Goaltenders Jiro Nihei and Dusty Imoo exchanged a series of fine saves to keep the game scoreless until Toshiyuki Sakai and Chris Yule set up Prpic’s winner past Imoo 3 minutes, 9 seconds into overtime at Makomanai ice arena.
Nihei was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament after leading his team to its first title in four years.
In the playoff for third place, Nippon Paper beat Oji Paper 2-0 with second-period goals by Takashi Sato and Masatoshi Ito.
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