Giant strides towards a bright future as kids shine
Belfast Giants faces got a glimpse into the future as their team beat Italian side Cortina 3-2 at the SSE Arena.
NHL veteran Jim Vandermeer made his debut after signing for the Giants last week, but in contrast two youngsters from the Junior Giants joined him on the ice.
Nineteen-year-old Adam Robinson and 17-year-old Ross Hancock both enjoyed a fair share of ice time and another local Gareth Roberts, who played a large number of games under Doug Christiansen and Paul Adey, was also back in a Giants jersey while David Juhascik provided back-up for goaltender Andrew Dickson, who was deputising for Stephen Murphy.
Colin Shields, Craig Peacock, Jonathan Boxill and Mark Garside were all on international duty with the Great Britain team and Giants coach Derrick Walser rested James Desmarais and Johan Ejdepalm, the pair joining the injured Chris Higgins and Matt Nickerson in the stands.
Cortina took the lead early in the second period, but the Giants forged ahead, first with Kris Beech netting the equaliser before Brandon Benedict put them into the lead.
A second Cortina goal brought the teams level again, but the Giants won the game when captain Adam Keefe netted the winner in the final minutes.