Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Belfast Giants tumble toothless Panthers

Beating newly crowned Elite League champions Nottingham on Saturday night was a hollow victory for Belfast Giants coach Doug Christiansen.

The Panthers left the Odyssey Arena after Friday night's first installment of the weekend double-header with the title already in the bag after a 5-3 win.

They cared little about the re-match 24 hours later and nothing was going to tarnish the silverware – their first league victory since the 1950s – and a 5-2 success did little to lift the mood of Christiansen and his disappointed players.

Andrew Fournier and Robby Sandrock put the Giants 2-0 up before Bruce Graham responded for the Panthers.

Daymen Rycroft and then Sandrock again made it 4-1, with Nottingham's David Ling and the Giants Kevin Saurette trading late goals.

"I don't think that Saturday night's win meant that much to us," admitted Christiansen.

"The damage was done on Friday night, although the two points on Saturday guarantees that we finish in second place, which is very important.

"Friday was extremely disappointing, but we didn't lose the league on Friday night, that happened in January when we should have won games and didn't."

The format of the Elite League means that there is still something for the Giants to play for though.

While it won't mean a massive amount there is still the winning of the Erhardt Conference to aim for, with the Giants and Nottingham tied on 30 points with two games each to go.

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