The Nippon Paper Cranes beat South Korea's Daemyung Killer Whales 4-3 in their semifinal game Thursday and advanced to the Asia League Ice Hockey finals for the first time in five seasons.

The Killer Whales took a 1-0 lead 12 seconds after hitting the ice, but Ikki Ikeda equalized off a pass from captain Hiroki Ueno and Naoya Kubo put the visitors ahead in the first period at Seonhak International Ice Rink.

Kenta Takagi and Maxim Potapov contributed second-period goals to withstand a late offensive from Daemyung and earn the Cranes' third straight win in the best-of-five semifinal.