Belfast Telegraph

Attitude the key to win: Desmarais

By Stuart McKinley

James Desmarais put the Belfast Giants' 6-3 win in the second leg of their double header against Coventry Blaze down to lessons learned from the first of the weekend's tussles.

The comfortable nature of Saturday night's success was in contrast to Friday when the Giants needed a penalty shoot-out to secure the two points.

First-period goals from Darryl Lloyd and Mike Radja put the Giants in control and even when Coventry pulled one back through Jordan Pietrus midway through the second period, Desmarais restored the two-goal advantage just over a minute later.

When Craig Peacock and Desmarais scored within two minutes of each other to put the Giants 5-1 up early in the third period the game was all but over.

Cale Tanaka's two goals did lift Coventry's spirits and coach Chuck Weber even pulled goaltender Brian Stewart with a couple of minutes to go in the hope that his team could find two goals to rescue a point.

Instead it was Giants forward Kris Beech who raced away to score an empty-net goal and make sure of the two points.

Desmarais claimed that the Giants' attitude had as much to do with the performance and the win as their ability.

"You can't go into any game expecting to win or taking it easy," said Desmarais.

"Every team in this league is competitive and any team can beat any other team on any given night.

"On Friday we came out a little slow and we knew that on Saturday we had to come out harder and we came out a lot better.

"It got a little tight for a while, but we just bared down and stuck to our game plan and squeezed out the win."

The Giants are now nine points behind leaders Cardiff, but with three games in hand and three more meetings with the Devils to come.

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