February 21, 2008
In the Playoff First Round, Oji Paper and the Cranes won 3 straight over the Icebucks and Anyang Halla respectively, heading into the Semifinal.
Oji Paper won the 1st and 2nd games of the First Round in their hometown Tomakomai capitalizing on their power play opportunities. In Game 3 held in Nikko, the home Icebucks lost the lead to Oji being one win away from Semifinal, but managed to cut it to one late in the third period. Less than half a minute later, however, Oji widened the lead to 4-2 and sealed the victory with two more goals. The wins send Oji onto Semifinal, where they will face High1 showing astounding progress.
Meanwhile in Kushiro, the Cranes overcame a deficit three times in Game 1. The game went into the overtime, where the Cranes mounted a quick attack and scored a sudden victory goal. The Cranes also won the low-scoring match the next day, heading into Game 3 for a berth to semifinal. Game 3 was played in Anyang in front of enthusiastic Halla fans. Halla was ahead until midway through the game, but the Cranes caught the opponent off guard to score the decisive goal. In the semifinal, the Cranes will face SEIBU, their biggest rival since the Asia League was founded.