uae ice hockey

By Amith Passela – The National

When the organisers of the third Ice Hockey President’s Cup Tournament were preparing the fixture list, they probably had a good idea in mind which two teams would most likely meet in the final.

It may have been entirely coincidental but the Abu Dhabi Storms and the Belarus President’s Team, winners of the two previous editions, are on course to contest the championship game on Friday after overcoming Czech Sparta and Mimino of Georgia respectively in Wednesday’s round-robin matches.

The Belarus President’s Team ran out impressive 10-2 winners over Mimino in their opening match at the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink, while the Storms beat Czech Parta 5-0 in the second game, their second win in the five-team league that also include Emirates Hockey League All Stars.

The Storms meet Georgia who have lost both games, in their penultimate game today but the former Slovakia international Rastislav Pavlikovsky warned his team to guard against complacency.

“When you go into a new game you start from zero,” he said. “So we can’t take any team based on their results. Against them, we must try to do the same thing what we did tonight.

“Tonight we had the game under control from the beginning which was quite contrast to our first game when we were looking around as to what to do in the first period of that game.”

 Unlike their first game against the EHL All Stars, where they had to rally from a goal down in the first period before eventually prevailing 5-1, the Storms had the game under control from the first period against Sparta, taking an early 2-0 lead.

Artsiom Karlotski put the Storms ahead from an assist off Artur Zainutdivot on seven minutes and Miroslav Satan, the former NHL star, doubled the lead at the end of the first period.

Juma Al Dhaheri netted his second of the competition early in the second period while Satan struck twice to complete his hat-trick. The final period ended scoreless.

On Thursday, the Belarus President’s Team play EHL All Stars in the opener at 5pm and the Storms take on Georgia in the second match at 7pm.