Tohoku Free Blades

The Tohoku Free Blades (東北フリーブレイズ) are an Asia League Ice Hockey team based in Hachinohe, Aomori, Japan.

Tohoku Free Blades
CityHachinohe, Aomori
LeagueAsia League Ice Hockey
Founded2008 (2008)
Operated2008–present
Home arenaNiida Indoor Rink
Colours              
Owner(s)Xebio Co. Ltd.
General managerKeisuke Araki
Head coachChris Wakabayashi
CaptainGo Tanaka
Websitehttp://www.freeblades.jp/

Community Contributions

The team has a number of community programs it runs under the mantra of "Team Social Responsibility". The team engages in youth oriented activities like running skating schools, working with high-school teams, visiting schools to interact with kids, and other kinds of junior hockey workshops. The team also attends various festivals and events in the communities in which they play.[1]

Arena

The team plays mainly out of several rinks, including Niida Indoor Rink in Hachinohe City. The rink was completed in 1984 and renovated in 2002. It features an ice surface 30m wide by 60m long and seats 1,576 people.[2] In the 2010-2011 season, the Free Blades played games as the home team out of the Shin-Yokohama Skate Center, which is the Seibu Prince Rabbits old home arena. The team also played games in Morioka Ice Arena in Morioka, Iwate, Bandai Atami Ice Arena in Kōriyama, Fukushima, and Higashi-Fushimi Ice Arena in Nishitōkyō, Tokyo.[3] The team previously used Misawa Ice Arena in Misawa, Aomori, for some home games.[4]

Team colors and mascot

The Free Blades' logo consists of the word Free Blades written on two lines as solid blue letters with a light blue and white outline. The L is replaced with a hockey stick and a puck is featured at the end of the word "Blades". The text is set on a pair of white wings. It is also stylized with the "B" and "S" having extended points and the "S" also featuring a sweeping bottom stroke. All letters are capitalized.[5]

Jerseys

Both the home and away jerseys feature silver on the shoulders and arms. The home jersey features a silver and blue panel along the side of the body while the away jersey features a solid white panel. The away jersey has a silver and green ring around the bottom while the home jersey features no ring. The home jerseys feature thin silver, green and white rings around the elbows, and the away jerseys have a single thick green ring. The logo is set in the middle of the chest and the jerseys have sponsor logos on top and in front of the shoulders. Additional sponsorship logos appear on the lower back of the jersey. The home jersey has a solid dark blue core and the away jersey has a solid white core.[6]

Mascot

The Free Blades mascot is a white horse with light blue hair. The horse has an aggressive look and features blue eyes as well as two upward pointed ears. The hair is light blue and stringy pointed in several directions. The mascot wears the away jersey, which features additional blue panelling under the arms, and has two white wings attached on the back. The mascot is named "Blazey."[7]

History

Founded in 2008, they played their first Asia League season in 2009–10. The Free Blades have been one of the more successful teams since its creation, winning three Asia League titles (2011, 2013, 2015).

Year-by-year record

complete records for previous seasons[8]

SeasonGPWW(OT)W(GWS)L(GWS)L(OT)LGFGAPTSFinishPlayoffs
2009-10 3613041018132142485th/7Did not reach playoffs
2010-11 361813248160112683rd/7Won Co-Championship
2011-12 361331414106111526th/7Did not reach playoffs
2012-13 4224023313187141732nd/7Won Championship
Totals 1506841010843585506--2 Championships

Roster

updated 1 November 2010[9]

Goaltenders
# Country Player Catches Acquired Place of Birth
31 Michio Hashimoto L 2009 Hachinohe, Japan
50 Shigehito Kimoto L 2011 Obihiro, Japan
55 Hata Michukazu L 2012 Kushiro, Japan
Defencemen
# Country Player Shoots Acquired Place of Birth
2 Yugo Hagiwara L 2011 Matsudo, Chiba
3 Yuuya Ariyoshi L 2010 Sapporo, Japan
4 Darrell Hay R 2013 Kamloops, Canada
8 Hu Tianyu R 2012 China
27 Tomohito Ohkubo L 2012 Tomakomai, Japan
44 Brad Farynuk R 2012 Enderby, Canada
54 Goshi Kumagai 2013 Japan
58 Yuhei Shinohara R 2013 Japan
84 Kyouhei KikuchiA R 2010 Japan
Forwards
# Country Player Position Shoots Acquired Place of Birth
9 Michitaka Motono F L 2013 Japan
10 Katsumasa Kondo F L 2013 Japan
11 Masahito Suzuki RW R 2009 Tomakomai, Japan
14 Go Tanaka - C C L 2010 Sapporo, Hokkaidō
18 Naoto Mizuuchi F R 2012 Tomakomai, Hokkaidō,
19 Takahashi Kosuke F 2012 Hokkaido, Japan
21 Kazuki Yamamoto RW L 2009 Hokkaidō, Japan
22 Ryō Tanaka RW R 2009 Sapporo, Hokkaidō
23 Yoshikazu Kashino LW/RW R 2009 Tomakomai, Hokkaidō
25 Kawamoto Akihito LW R 2011 Nagoya, Aichi
28 Takuro Yamashita LW R 2011 Kushiro, Hokkaidō
40 Takuma Kawai LW L 2009 Eniwa, Japan
43 Ned Lukacevic LW L 2013 Podgorica, Montenegro
47 Kota Shinohara C R 2012 Kushiro, Japan

Leaders

Team captains

  • Yasuhiro Ouchi 2009-2010
  • Go Tanaka 2010–Present

Head coaches

  • Chris Wakabayashi 2009–2014
  • JP MacCallum 2014–15
  • Chris Wakabayashi 2015–Present

Honors

Past import players

  • Jon Smyth 2009–10, FW
  • Steve Munn 2009–10, D
  • Scott Champagne 2010–11, FW
  • Bruce Mulherin 2009–11, FW
  • Cole Jarrett 2010–11, D
  • Brad Farynuk 2009–11, D
  • Aaron MacKenzie 2011–12, D
  • Paul Albers 2011–12, D
  • Troy Riddle 2011–12, C
  • David Wrigley 2012–13, FW
  • Justin Fletcher 2012–13, D

References

  1. "TEAM SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY TSR(社会的責任)". Freeblades.jp. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  2. "新井田インドアリンク アーカイブ". City of Hachinohe. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  3. "Regular Schedule". Alhockey.com. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  4. "2009-2010 Regular game results". Alhockey.com. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  5. "Team profile". Alhockey.com. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  6. "Free Blades Gallery". Freeblades.jp. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  7. "プレーオフ第4戦、クレインズを下し逆王手に!!". Free Blades official team blog. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  8. "2009-2010 / Regular Standings". alhockey.com. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  9. "Team Information". Freeblades Official Site. Retrieved August 2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
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