Day: November 15, 2016

Abu Dhabi Storms off to a flyer in Ice Hockey President’s Tournament as they blow EHL All Stars away


uae ice hockey

By Amith Passela – The National

Packed with a legion of former Slovakian stars, the Abu Dhabi Storms made their intentions clear in the third staging of the Ice Hockey President’s Tournament on Tuesday with a comprehensive win over Emirates Hockey League All Stars.

It was the EHL All Stars that drew first blood in their opening match at the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink to lead 1-0 at the end of the first period. However, the Storms hit back in the next, scoring four times before wrapping up the game 5-1.

“It took a while for the players to strike a combination and when they did, they turned it on,” said Juma Al Dhaheri, the Storms and UAE national team captain.

“We rounded off this game nicely and from now on we can only get better. The level of this competition has been raised considerably this year with every team strengthening their squads with some high-profile signings.

“For us, it was important to start with a win. You feel good when you do that. Every game in this competition is going to be tough and I wish we can take this momentum forward.”

Zelony Lubomir put the EHL All Stars ahead but the Storms shifted through the gears in the second period to put the game to bed. Andrej Nedorost, Juhani Matikainen, Lubomir Visnovsky and Al Dhaheri all found the net before Artur Zainutdivot rounded off the scoreline with the solitary strike of the final period.

In the early game, Czech Sparta got the better of Mimino from Georgia 7-2 after a late flourish.

The scores were tied at 1-1 at the end of the first period. Sparta led 2-1 in the next before netting five goals in the final period.

On Wednesday, the Belarus President’s Team play Mimino in the first game at 5pm and the Storms take on Sparta in the 7pm match.

EHL All Stars and Abu Dhabi Storms ready for ice hockey challenge against European sides

uae ice hockey

By Amith Passela – The National

Having won the Ice Hockey President’s tournament twice since it was established two years ago, the Belarus President’s Team have returned with hopes of retaining their stronghold on the title.

It will not be easy for them, though, as the bar has been raised considerably higher, with the local side Abu Dhabi Storms adding to their squad six Slovakians who have featured in both the National Hockey League (NHL) and Euro Hockey League (EHL).

Participating for the first time are two select teams from the established hockey nations Czech Republic and Georgia, and the other local entry Emirates Hockey League All Stars.

The action on Tuesday night’s opening round at the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink will be between the Czech Republic and Georgia, followed by the Storms versus Emirates Hockey League All Stars.

“It is part of our continuing efforts to raise the level of the competitions we plan to stage here in the Emirates,” said Hamad Al Shariyani, director of the Abu Dhabi Ice Sports Club.

“This competition also provides the local players with the opportunity to brush shoulders with some of those who have prominently featured in both NHL and EHL. It is the first time such a high-quality tournament is taking place in the country.”

The Storms, a team made up of a majority UAE hockey internationals, have strengthened their squad by including Miroslav Satan, Peter Bondra, Richard Lintner, Lubomir Visnovsky, Rastislav Pavlikovsky and Andrej Nedorost.

The Belarus President’s Team have quite a few players of the same calibre who have been behind their success on both appearances.

“This is a high-level competition and we need to raise our own bar to compete with such teams,” said Juma Al Dhaheri, the captain of both Storms and UAE national team.

“To play alongside such high-profile players is going to be a great opportunity. We are looking forward to this competition, and regardless of the results, we can learn from the experience.

“Barring the EHL [Emirates Hockey League] All Stars, the teams from the Czech Republic and Georgia are unknown quantities. But we all know they are established hockey nations. So, we expect them to be top quality teams.”