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[SPORTS] Yutaka Fukufuji - 1st Japanese-Born NHL Player

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  • madchinaman
    Kings Goalie Fukufuji Makes History Associated Press http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/01/13/ap3326923.html Los Angeles Kings goalie Yutaka Fukufuji became
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 14, 2007
      Kings Goalie Fukufuji Makes History
      Associated Press
      http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/01/13/ap3326923.html


      Los Angeles Kings goalie Yutaka Fukufuji became the first Japanese-
      born player in the NHL when he started the third period against the
      St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

      Fukufuji replaced Barry Brust, who allowed five goals in the first
      two periods.

      "I was so nervous," the 24-year-old Fukufuji said. "This was my first
      time playing in the NHL. I was so nervous but I was excited, too."

      He was recalled Friday on an emergency basis after Mathieu Garon was
      placed on injured reserve with a finger injury. Fukufuji became the
      first Japanese native to dress for a league game Dec. 16 against
      Dallas in another emergency stint.

      He stopped Doug Weight's slap shot from the left circle early in the
      second before surrendering his first goal 7:32 into the final period
      on the second shot he faced. Dennis Wideman scored during a power
      play to give the Blues a 6-4 lead and St. Louis went on to a 6-5
      victory.

      "When the Japanese kid went into the net and he made that great save
      (against Weight)," Kings coach Marc Crawford said, "I thought we are
      really going to have something happen."

      Fukufuji was 2-0-0 with a 1.30 goals-against average in three games
      at Manchester of the American Hockey League and 3-3-0 with Reading of
      the East Coast Hockey League.
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