Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Giants' Adam Keefe sets the bar high in pursuit of cup success

By Stuart McKinley

Adam Keefe is keeping things simple in the Belfast Giants' pursuit of Challenge Cup glory.

The competition begins to get interesting tonight when the Giants take on the Cardiff Devils in the first leg of the quarter-finals at the Odyssey Arena, with the return clash in Wales next Wednesday evening.

Rather than get involved in the mathematics, Keefe's plan for making the semi-finals is straightforward - win both legs.

"We have battled so hard to stay in the title race and have had a lot of games over the last couple of weeks," said Keefe.

"There is a new focus for us this week with a Challenge Cup game, which is good.

"We have to treat it just like any other game and try to get the win, like we always do and then try to win in Cardiff too.

"We don't want to have to worry about scorelines and aggregate goals. Let's just win the games."

Winning games has been the norm for the Giants over the last three weeks, with eight victories in the last nine games for Steve Thornton's team.

Cardiff's run is even better. They are on an eight-match winning run and have only lost once in their last 12 matches and Keefe has come up against them enough times in his three and a half seasons with the Giants to know exactly what to expect this time.

"Cardiff are playing really well, they are up with us near the top of the league and it is always a tough game when we play them," said Keefe.

"It is always the same against Cardiff. We have to compete as hard as they do and be prepared to do whatever it takes to win the game.

"We know it will be physical and guys have to be prepared to take a few knocks."

The heartbreak of losing last season's final to the Nottingham Panthers after winning 5-2 in the first leg is also motivating Keefe and those who remain from that team.

"That was hard to take and we have something to make up for," he said.

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