The second place Tohoku Free Blades return home for the first time in almost a month after an eight game road trip to Korea and Kushiro in which they went 4-4. The Nikko Icebucks, currently holding the sixth spot in the standings, went on the same road trip as the Blades and also came away with a 4-4 record.
This is the first of six games between the teams in 2016/17. Last season they split the series. Overall the Blades and Icebucks have played 43 games with the Blades winning 30.