Abu Dhabi: Kuwait cruised to an 8-2 win over the recently-formed Algerian team in the opening match of the Arab Open Ice Hockey Championship played here at the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink.
The Kuwaitis, strengthened by a few Czech players in their team, did all the scoring while the Algerians put up a brave fight to match their opponents in all departments of the game.
Jacub Petr scored thrice for the Kuwaitis, with Martin Petovsky adding two and Martin Itersky and Ahmad Al Ajmi getting the others.
For Algeria, Haroud Litim and Hakim Boukhaloua scored in the first and second periods.
The Kuwaitis led 2-1 at the end of the first 20-minute period and then were 4-1 at the end of the second 20-minute period.
However in the final period, Petr scored twice to complete his hat-trick and the blue-shirted Kuwaitis romped home comfortable winners.
The Algerians were however delighted with their display as it was their first ever match. "We all met each other and trained together just for a week in London before coming here," said team manager Mustapha Cheigui.
But the man who worked for over two years to form the Algerian team is Karim Kerbouche, also the President of the Algerian Ice Hockey Federation and a key player of the team.
The London-based Algerian said he assembled this team from Algerians who play ice hockey in France, Canada and the UK.
"After two years of hard work we could get this team to train together for one week. But we are very happy to play the first ever match in Algerian colours," said Karim.
As Algeria does not have an ice rink, the current crop of players intend to keep playing for the country by taking part in such events.
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Membres de l'Équipe Algerienne provenant du Canada:
BENIDIR, Abdelaziz - laval jr, canada
BENIDIR, Abdelhamid - ,canada
DJEMAI, Hicham - Montreal jnr AAA