Belfast Giants character praised by Adey after late victory
Published 27/01/2014 | 01:30
Paul Adey hailed the battling qualities of his Belfast Giants team after their 2-1 overtime victory over Braehead Clan on Saturday night.
After scoring 50 goals in their previous nine game, the Giants only strike inside the regulation 60 minutes in Glasgow came when Jeffrey Szwez fired home just 76 seconds before the end of the first period.
That goal cancelled out Ash Goldie's opener, which had arrived less than two minutes earlier.
And that was that as far as goals were concerned until Dustin Whitecotton delivered the winner 3:27 into the sudden-death overtime period.
The fact that his team put up another two points was pleasing for Adey, as was the manner of the victory.
"It was a real battle – it was like a Play-off game," said Adey.
"Our last couple of games in Braehead have both been like that, like Play-off games, and it was the same again.
"We were playing well and I wasn't worried at any stage. The guys stuck with it, kept going on the attack and their goalie was playing really well.
"In the end we got the two points and it's a big two points for us.
"Getting two points on the road against a team like Braehead is tough, so it's great that we got the win."
The win keeps the Giants 17 points clear at the top of the Elite League table and 10 wins in their remaining 18 matches will give them the title.
The pack behind them is getting tight though, with the Sheffield Steelers recording two big wins over the Nottingham Panthers and Coventry Blaze over the weekend to go level with the Dundee Stars in second place.
The Steelers – now with former Giants coach Doug Christiansen in charge – come to the Odyssey for what will be a huge double header next weekend, with their hopes of staying in the title race resting on those two games.
For Adey, it will be all about collecting points rather than performances.
"Sometimes you have got to go out and grind out the wins," he said.
"It doesn't matter how you win and if you win when you don't play well that's a good thing.
"Every time that we pick up a point or two points it's more points that that other teams need to pick up if they are going to close in on us."
Before the weekend though the Giants face the Cardiff Devils at the Odyssey on Tuesday night in the first leg of the Challenge Cup semi-final (7pm face-off).