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Yushiroh Hirano Becomes First Japanese-Born Player to Score a Goal in the AHL

Yushiroh Hirano made history over the weekend, becoming the first Japanese-born player to score a goal in AHL history.
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Yushiroh Hirano made history this past weekend. 

Drawing into the Abbotsford Canucks' lineup on Saturday for their matchup with the San Diego Gulls, Hirano made an immediate impact in his first AHL contest in over two years, scoring the game's opening marker, and, in the process, becoming the first Japanese-born player in AHL history to score a goal. 

Hirano's historic tally came just 10 seconds into the game, when Canucks teammate Nic Petan gathered the puck on the right-side boards after a Gulls' turnover off of the opening draw and fed Hirono on a gorgeous two-on-one of which netminder Francis Marotte had simply had no hope of stopping. 

Hirano wasn't done there, however. Less than 24 hours later, the 26-year-old would follow up his performance with another goal on Sunday. 

Saturday's historic moment was a long time coming for Hirano, who has taken a long and winding road to professional hockey over his playing career. Going undrafted throughout his entire eligibility, Hirano proceeded to play a total of 144 games in the ECHL from 2018-2021, including 25 with the Cincinnati Cyclones this season, before eventually signing a professional tryout offer with Abbotsford on Jan. 5. 

With two goals in six games with the Canucks thus far, Hirano is certainly making the most of his current opportunity. And a few more performances like those from this past weekend could turn his tryout into a contract. 

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