The defending Grover Cup champions, Abu Dhabi Godfathers, have started their 2023-24 season with a resounding 7-4 victory over their bitter rivals, the Oryx. Both teams presented themselves ready for battle during the warmup and a filled arena raised the noise level to such extreme that the nearby KFC had to close for approx. 5 minutes due to an earthquake warning.  The season opener was new edition of the Kaddas Cup finals and the Godfathers were eager settle the score after their defeat. 

Both, Guillaume Laberge, captain of the Godfathers and Conor Doherty, captain of the Oryx were absent for the season opener due to their climate activists commitment. They informed the ADHL commissioner that both will participate in an event at the Canadian embassy, demonstrating against the retreating ice sheets in hockey rinks during the summer.

The Godfathers quickly scored two goals and Trevor Corey had the honor to score the regular season's first goal. A talented Oryx side wasn't able to take a grip on their opponents, leading in Jon Marsh scoring the 3rd goal for his colors. The second half was much more balanced the Oryx managed to turn a 4-1 deficit into close range when local hero Suhail Al Muhairi scored the 4-3. However, veteran Rob Hill managed to score an empty netter, sealing the defeat for the Oryx. 

After the game, Godfather's owner Ali Kaddas, said "I am very happy with the team tonight. Investing millions in a team isn't easy and I expect nothing but the win of the Grover Cup again. After losing the Kaddas Cup and the 100,000 AED reward that came with it, I was close on folding the team due to budget constraints. Now, Guillaume has the tough job to defend the Grover Cup." 

Oryx export and former 12th round pick of the East African Hockey League, Aleksi Hirvonen said with a smile and wink in his eye "Meidän joukkueemme on katastrofi, which loosely translate to 'I am proud of my team' and that is why I signed with the Oryx. We have a lot to do, but that is hockey."