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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Dubai Mighty Camels trounce Al Ain Theebs to win Emirates Hockey League title

An 8-2 win at the Dubai Ice Rink earned a second victory in the best of three play-off final and a fourth EHL title

<p>Tthe Dubai Mighty Camels, in black, took revenge against Al Ain Theebs&nbsp;in the EHL play-off final after losing twice in the regular season.&nbsp;Navin Khianey&nbsp;/&nbsp;The National</p>
<p>Tthe Dubai Mighty Camels, in black, took revenge against Al Ain Theebs&nbsp;in the EHL play-off final after losing twice in the regular season.&nbsp;Navin Khianey&nbsp;/&nbsp;The National</p>

Dubai Mighty Camels underlined their status as the most successful team in the Emirates Hockey League (EHL) after claiming their fourth title on Tuesday.

The Mighty Camels produced a resounding 8-2 victory over Al Ain Theebs in the second of the best-of-three play-off final at the Dubai Ice Rink. The Dubai team won the first game 7-3 at the Al Ain Ice Rink on Sunday.

“We played a bit different to the previous games and it all worked out well for us in the finals,” said Lebanese-Canadian Nabil Kamleh, who has won all four titles with the Mighty Camels and has featured in every EHL season since its inception in 2009.

“Obviously we are overwhelmed and very proud of our guys and our fans. We were very fortunate to have the best players and our strategies on the ice were executed to perfection.”

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Theebs went in to the finals after topping the regular league table, so Kamleh was pleased that the Mighty Camels were able to overcome their rivals in the play-off final.

“Theebs are a very strong team,” Kamleh said. “They got some very good expatriate players, particularly Artsiom [Karkotski] and Artur [Zainutdinov] who were very dominant for them.

“We knew their strengths and we managed to shut them down. It was very difficult to keep them quiet but we managed to do that with the ploys we planned out ahead of the games.”

While insisting the title success was a collective effort, Kamleh singled out the contributions of Patrik Valcak, former NHL forward for the Boston Bruins, as the key to the Mighty Camels’ success.

The 33-year-old Czech made four assists and found the net once in the title-clinching 8-2 and complete the Mighty Camels’ season.

“In my humble opinion he’s the best player in the EHL this season,” Kamleh said. “His contribution was really outstanding for us this season.

Mike Freeson and Kamleh provided the perfect start for the Mighty Camels with a goal each to take a 2-0 lead in the first period.

Alex Riggs fired in a third before the visitors pulled one back through Artsiom Karkotski. However, a second from Kamleh regained the Mighty Camels’ three-goal advantage at the end of the second period.

Connor Mikinley and Freeson then drew the home side clear at 6-2. Timothy Thorenton reduced the lead before Valcak put the game beyond the reach of Theebs. Freeson then rounded off the game by completing his hattrick.

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