x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Camels aiming for a clincher

Ron Murphy, the Dubai Mighty Camels' captain, hopes to fulfil the team's aim of winning the first Emirates Ice Hockey League tonight rather than find his side in a decider.

AL AIN // Ron Murphy, the Dubai Mighty Camels' captain, hopes to fulfil the team's aim of winning the first Emirates Ice Hockey League (EHL) tonight rather than find his side in a decider. They lead the best-of-three series after last week's 5-3 triumph over the Al Ain Vipers and a win would see them crowned champions tonight at the Al Ain Ice Rink. "We have always had this objective of winning this league from the onset and we are one step closer to fulfilling it," said Murphy.

"We go into this game with the best record and are at full strength for this game." Ahmed Henawi, the Vipers' captain, who missed the last game, backed his team to take the series to a deciding match in the capital on Wednesday. "It was a game we lost rather than them winning it. We conceded too many penalties in the second period. I think we have a very good chance of getting back," he said. Just as the home advantage suited the Dubai Camels in the first play-off, the Vipers captain felt his team will have an edge playing in Al Ain.

"Playing at home on the larger ice surface will certainly benefit our team," he added. "We are good as a team and we won't be looking for one particular player to take up the load. Obviously we'll try to put extra effort as this is a do-or-die game. "We are relaxed as the pressure will be on them because they think they will win this championship from the start of the season." The Camels have the best overall record, having lost just twice in the 16-match regular league.

The Camels' impressive record makes them the favourites tonight, but the Vipers will not give up on forcing for the decider in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. apassela@thenational.ae