Belfast Telegraph

Giants must keep making big strides towards success: Walser

By Stuart McKinley

Derrick Walser will take exactly the same approach for the Belfast Giants' Challenge Cup semi-final against the Cardiff Devils tonight as he has done over the last two months.

The two-legged nature of their encounter with the Devils may be unusual for the North American natives in both teams who are used to either one-off matches or having to win a series of games to progress, but after losing just three times in their last 21 games there is no reason for Giants player-coach Walser to change anything.

And coming off the back of successive wins in Sheffield last weekend, as well as an overtime victory in Cardiff just two and a half weeks ago, the confidence is rolling in the Giants team as they chase a first Challenge Cup success since 2009.

"Nothing changes for us. It's another in a line of meaningful games for us and there is a lot at stake for both teams," commented Walser.

"I think it will be close and maybe the first period will be a little touch and feel with both teams trying to work out what the other will do and not wanting to give anything away that will put them behind the eight ball. After that I think it will hot up.

"I would be happy if it's a dull game. It might start out like that, but I don't think it will be like that all the way through."

Cardiff are the team that currently stand between the Giants and silverware.

As well as competing for a place in the Challenge Cup final, against either the Nottingham Panthers or Sheffield Steelers, the Welsh side are a point better off in the Elite League table with two months of the season to go.

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