Okayama University


Men's Ice Hockey Club Wins the Chugoku-Shikoku Championship! Heading to the National Tournament for the 2nd Consecutive Year!

November 30, 2023

From November 17 to 19, the "39th Chugoku-Shikoku Student Ice Hockey Championship" was held at the Hiroshin Big Wave Skating Rink (Hiroshima City), where the men's ice hockey club of Okayama University achieved victory. 7 universities from the Chugoku-Shikoku region participated in this major event, competing in a tournament format, with the winning team earning the right to enter the All-Japan Intercollegiate First Division. Last year, the same club dominated the competition, securing victory over other universities and earning the qualification to the All-Japan Intercollegiate. This year, the club aimed for a "Chugoku-Shikoku consecutive victory," diligently practicing day by day.

In the first match, they faced Tottori University and won 9-0. In the second match against Shimane University, they secured another victory with a score of 10-1, advancing to the finals. In the intense final match against Ehime University, the team experienced a challenging first period, falling behind with the opponent scoring the initial point and then another one shortly after. In the subsequent second period, the players encouraged each other and strived to play as practiced, but a challenging situation unfolded with three simultaneous penalties. The penalties, which meant being unable to participate in the game for two minutes, had an impact, causing a loss of momentum and conceding one more point to the opponent. Amidst an uneasy atmosphere for the entire team, words of encouragement from the supervisor and coach ignited the players' fighting spirit. In the final minute of the second period, YAMAMOTO Seiju (1st year, Discovery Program for Global Learners) scored a crucial point, transforming the team's atmosphere and bringing back their usual brightness. In the third period, with no room for mistakes, they relentlessly approached the goal. YAMAMOTO Haru (3rd year, School of Engineering) scored one point, and with only one minute remaining in the game, he added another point, resulting in a 3-3 tie by the end of the match. In the breath-taking turn of events, the entire team rallied together with a strong desire to score one more point. Finally, the awaited moment arrived with only 10 seconds left until the end of the match. YAMAMOTO Haru snatched the puck from the opponent, dashed towards the goal, and attempted a shot towards the goalkeeper. The puck rebounded, and almost simultaneously with the buzzer, KOJIMA Seito (4th year, School of Engineering) skillfully struck it – buzzer beater! They achieved a come-from-behind victory.

Reflecting on this outcome, Mr. Kojima said, "I'm very pleased to finish the Chugoku-Shikoku Championship, the culmination of four years, with a "buzzer beater" come-from-behind victory. Without being satisfied with this result, we want to tighten our focus and work together as a team until the end for the national tournament. Thank you for your support." Captain SUZUKI Junpei (4th year, School of Letters) added, "This year, we aimed for a 'Chugoku-Shikoku consecutive victory' and worked towards it since spring. Each player fully utilized their individual strengths, and with the support of the supervisor, coach, alumni, parents, and everyone else, we were able to achieve this result. We, the members of the team, will remain grateful and, without forgetting the feeling of gratitude, will use this experience to strive for success on the future stage. Thank you for your support."

Additionally, the Best 6 awards, presented to outstanding players in the tournament, included YAMAMOTO Haru, KAMADA Kazuki (2nd year, Discovery Program for Global Learners), and YAMAMOTO Seiju in the forward category, SUZUKI Junpei in the defense category, and KASA Ryosuke (4th year, Faculty of Law) in the goalkeeper category.

The team consciously focused on "playing hockey as a whole team" in preparation for this tournament. As a result, the supervisor, coach, players, and managers all united as one team to secure a come-from-behind victory. The final match, filled with excitement, joyously enveloped the entire venue, leaving a lasting impression on many and proving the appeal and fun of ice hockey. The club will continue to work diligently without becoming complacent, aiming for further goals. Let's look forward to their performance in the upcoming national tournament!

☆ Tournament Results ☆
    vs Tottori University  9-0
    vs Shimane University 10-1
Finals  vs Ehime University   4-3