• The Associated Press


Chris Yule and Ryan Fujita both scored midway through the third period Sunday to lead Kokudo to a 5-2 win over the Nippon Paper Cranes in the inaugural Asia League ice hockey championship.

News photoKokudo’s Takahito Suzuki reaches for the puck Sunday.

Playing before 1,816 spectators at Tokyo’s Higashifushimi Arena, Kokudo took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Kazuyoshi Yamaguchi in the second period.

Fumitaka Miyauchi scored early in the third period to give Kokudo a 2-0 lead. After Yule and Fujita found the net, former Calgary Flame Chris Lindberg scored his second of two goals for the Cranes to cut the lead to 4-2 with just under seven minutes left.

But forward Chris Bright sealed the victory for Kokudo in the final minute of play when he scored into an empty net.

The Cranes won the first game of the best-of-five series in Hokkaido but Kokudo came back to win the next three games.

The Asia League is made up of four teams from Japan, two from China and one each from Russia and South Korea.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.