x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Coach Faikov delighted as Storms lash Scorpions in ice hockey

Their 4-1 victory is a dream start to the Emirates Hockey League season as match proves to be 'good preparation' ahead of Ice Hockey Classic tournament in Thailand.

The Abu Dhabi Storms celebrate after scoring against the Abu Dhabi Scorpions in capital city late on Wednesday night.
The Abu Dhabi Storms celebrate after scoring against the Abu Dhabi Scorpions in capital city late on Wednesday night.

ABU DHABI // Yuri Faikov was given the perfect welcome present as the new coach of the Abu Dhabi Storms.

The Storms, a team comprising mainly of Emirati players, emerged 4-1 winners over Abu Dhabi Scorpions, a side packed with Canadian players, in Wednesday night's opening match of the Emirates Hockey League at the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink.

Mubarak Al Mazroui put the Storms ahead only to be cancelled by Ryan Hornblower. But Kellin Carson, Mohammed Aref Al Jachi and Suhail Al Muhairi scored a goal each to ensure a Storms victory.

"The win was a good result for us in the first game of the season," said Faikov, who returned as the Storms coach on a new two-year contract after serving as the UAE national team coach from 2001 to 2007.

"My players were a bit nervous in the first period.

"They got a little confident in the second and played very well in the third.

"We are going to take part in an international competition later this month and any game for us is good preparation.

"The goalkeeper, Khaled Al Suwaidi, was outstanding tonight. He had a wonderful game with some excellent saves."

The Storms next play Al Ain Vipers on October 12 at the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink before their participation in the international division of the Ice Hockey Classic in Bangkok, Thailand, from October 25 to 29.

Hornblower, the Scorpions captain, said: "It was a good first game played at a fast pace. We were short-staffed today but all in all it was a good back and forth game. I think we played well despite the loss."

Al Mazroui had the honour of becoming the first player to get on the score sheet in the 2011/12 EHL. The Emirati fired in from close range on eight minutes and one second to break the deadlock.

They could have doubled the lead had Mohammed Rehan's effort not crashed against the crossbar off a penalty in the dying second of the first period of play.

Al Suwaidi, the Storms goalkeeper, had earlier done well to keep out a close-range flick from Hornblower as the Storms went into the break with a one-goal lead.

Al Suwaidi made a couple of good saves in the opening minute of the second period, but had no chance against Hornblower's effort from in front of the goalmouth.

The Storms regained the lead from a rising shot off Carson four minutes later.

Al Jachi was on target with a long-range shot that went between goalkeeper James Prette's legs five minutes into the third period and Al Muhairi secured the victory with a fourth goal when the Scorpions had two players sin-binned.

apassela@thenational.ae


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