December 19th, 2012
It was a tough loss for Ihsan last week as they definitely put up the effort, but lost focus in the last 7 minutes. Some of the players complained about the refs, and they definitely have a case in regards to some of the calls, but in the end if you want to win a championship you can’t let anything knock you off focus especially bad calls.
Zuhd players were stunned by their loss last week. They’ve had strong outing after strong outing but were suddenly stunned by a tough Tawakul team which looked little like the team that barely came out of the quarters just a week ago. Rumour has it that a number of Zuhd players began txting league officials in a fit to confirm that the semi-finals were indeed a best-of-two series and not a single game elimination match.
I didn’t watch the game (unfortunately) but I was really pleased to see Jazib Khan’s name on the score-sheet twice! Jazib has been a dedicated I-Slam Hockey volunteer for years now and one of those people who you know plays the sport for the love of it. It’s always great to see the nice guys come out on top.
Yousuf Soliman and Ibrahim Hindy both are playing in their first I-Slam Hockey Finals…ever. This is despite both players having played in the league for many years. The two Egyptians, and line-mates, will need to produce some offense in this series if they want to leave with something more than just a trip to the finals.
One thing that stood out about Ikhlas last week is how great a transition team they are. It makes the team appear much faster than they are which will be a challenge to Sabr’s defensemen.
The advantage that Sabr will have is their depth at forward. If they can make each shift a battle for Ihsan, they might be able to outlast them in a long series.
Rumour has it that Yousuf Sowdagar, Gehad Alhundi and Ali Isphany have applied to co-GM a team for the upcoming I-Slam Hockey Spring Season. However, league officials are considering altering or severely handicapping the grouping in the draft for fear that it might be far too "stacked" of a team.
We've also set up a January 1st, 2013 deadline for the upcoming season. Sign up quick as spots are going fast!
Imran Patel of Sabr is looking for his first championship of significance since the 2005 Salaam Cup. Patel has said that he will retire if he doesn’t win. (Full disclosure, he might have said that at 3 in the morning and thus it shouldn’t be really held against him).
There’s a rumour that Taha Ali was happy to see Ihsan lose for one additional reason: that he wouldn’t have to play againstYousuf Sowdagar again this season. Whenever they play each other, they always end up in each others faces and Sowdagar always tries to take a few runs at Ali.
Fuzail Thakur attributed Ridha's stunning loss to Emaan to himself playing offense. "I think I need to stay playing defense" said Thakur, "Waseem (Kalair) is a much better forward and I'm more comfortable on defense". Only time will tell if that strategy works.
- Ibrahim Hindy with notes from friends like yourself around the league.