Belfast Telegraph

Robby Sandrock wants to retire with a winner's medal

By Stuart McKinley

Robby Sandrock is approaching the Play-off campaign determined to secure a happy ending after confirming he is to retire at the end of the season.

The Belfast Giants' Canadian defenceman has decided that he will bring the curtain down on an illustrious career and he will do all that he can to ensure it ends with a trophy in his hands next Sunday, rather than going out with a whimper this weekend.

The Giants Elite League title challenge ended much more prematurely than anyone expected, but the Play-offs offer a final chance of silverware and Sandrock is planning to sign off in style by beating the Cardiff Devils in the two-legged quarter-final before going for glory on finals weekend in Nottingham.

And for Sandrock that would be a case of turning the clock back to his first spell with the Giants, more than a decade ago.

"My decision has got nothing to do with how things have gone this season," said Sandrock, who turned 37 earlier this month.

"I was contemplating retirement during off season last summer and after I was convinced to come back I decided that it was going to be one more year for me.

"My first year in Belfast is still one of the highlights of my career when we won the Play-offs.

"There is nothing that can beat skating off after the last game of the season with a trophy in your hands.

"Now, 12 years later, things have come full circle for me and I'm still as hungry as ever to win.

"For every Canadian kid winning the Play-offs is the ultimate success. It's a little different here to North America, but it's still huge and I want to finish my final game as a winner."

After their disappointing league campaign, where they finished fifth, the Giants are among the outsiders for the Play-off title.

That is a status that suits Sandrock, who already has plans for the next stage of his life when he returns to his native British Colombia in the summer.

"We have as good a chance as any of the other eight teams who are left," said Sandrock.

"The league is so tight this year and even the teams below us who have made the Play-offs, Hull, Coventry and Fife, have all taken games off the top four.

"After winning our two games last weekend the mood in the locker room this week has been upbeat and we are all excited about the Play-offs.

"Even if we'd finished second in the league it wouldn't have been a success, but we still have a chance of winning a trophy."

Belfast Telegraph

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