Dragons overcome slow start to land 12th Belgian men’s title

KHC Dragons won their 12th Belgian men’s national title as they won both of their two legs of finals weekend over Waterloo Ducks, 4-3 and 2-1.

“I am so proud of this team, ” said Florent van Aubel to Le Soir, who was celebrating his 7th title in the Antwerp club’s jersey.

They did so after a slow start to the season, finishing fifth in the pre-Christmas phase of the competition and then overhauling a five-point gap in the group stages to reach the semi-finals.

“We were in a pretty awkward situation and we achieved something pretty amazing by qualifying for the semi-finals. Then, from that point on, we knew we were capable of anything. 

“This is the Dragons. Everyone responded. It is the DNA of the Dragons to win titles even when it comes to a transition season. We are trying to set up a project around which we are trying to unite all the players. 

“When things didn’t work out, we dared to face it. We understood our strengths and weaknesses. And we learned to play with it. I don’t know if we really doubted ourselves at some point this season even when we had these difficult times.”

For Waterloo, William Ghislain admitted Dragons held the aces this weekend. “We lacked a lot of efficiency. It’s sad but that’s how it is, it’s sport. We wanted the title but it didn’t turn out as expected. 

“We have the youngest team in the championship but that cannot be an excuse. We have worked a lot and we are trying to build a solid structure for the next few years. We still lack a little experience even if it is not this that makes us lose the title.”

Royal Léopold, meanwhile, took the third place with back-to-back wins over Orée.