An efficient offense carried the Nippon Paper Cranes to a 3-2 victory over the Seibu Prince Rabbits in Game 7 of the Asia League Ice Hockey finals on Monday at DyDo Drinco Ice Arena in Tokyo.
With the victory, the Cranes wrapped up their first championship since the 2006-07 season; they also won the 2003-04 title.
Seibu Prince outshot the Hokkaido-based Cranes 56-33, but the out-of-towners played a superb offensive game, scoring three goals in the game’s first 32:02.
The Rabbits, who trailed 3-1 after four games, forced a Game 7 by winning the sixth game 4-3 on Sunday.
Darcy Takeshi Mitani put the Cranes ahead 1-0 on a power-play goal at the 3:20 mark of the first period.
Nippon Paper extended the lead to 2-0 on Masahito Nishiwaki’s goal with the man advantage 4:29 into the second. Teammate Masatoshi Ito made it 3-0 with 12:02 elapsed in the period.
Rabbits captain Takahito Suzuki cut the lead to 3-1 late in the second. He notched the game’s final tally at the 13:08 mark of the third.
Daisuke Obara had two assists for Seibu Prince.
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