The 2018-19 Asia League ice hockey season starts today with a pair of games.
The Nippon Paper Cranes host the Nikko Icebucks @ 17:00 in Kushiro, Japan. The Cranes are 10-5 in season home openers, but have lost the last two including a 4-3 shootout loss to the Icebucks last season.
Today will be the fifth time the Cranes open at home against Nikko and so far they have a 4-1 record.
In the other opening day game, the Oji Eagles visit the Tohoku Free Blades in Hachinohe, Japan @ 17:00. It is the Blades 10th anniversary this year and they look to make their seventh playoff appearance. Tohoku are 5-4 in season home openers.