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.