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Workrate key to Belfast Giants' resurgence, says Derrick Walser

Braehead Clan 2 - Belfast Giants 5

By Stuart McKinley

Published 29/02/2016

In safe hands: Stephen Murphy kept out 20 shots
In safe hands: Stephen Murphy kept out 20 shots

Derrick Walser believes the reason his Belfast Giants team is back in the Elite League title race is simply down to effort.

There is no doubt that character comes into the equation too as twice in 24 hours they came from behind to win, scoring five goals each time.

A 5-1 win in Nottingham on Friday was followed up with a 5-2 success over Braehead Clan on Saturday and with other results going their way the Giants are now five points behind joint-leaders Sheffield and Cardiff, with two matches in hand over the Steelers and one on the Devils.

Kris Beech scored twice, with James Desmarais, Mike Forney and Mitch Ganzak also netting, while Clan's Matt Keith and Stefan Meyer managed to beat Giants goaltender Stephen Murphy, who otherwise kept out 20 shots on the night.

The Giants have now won five league games in a row since the international break a fortnight ago - their longest winning streak of the season - and have scored 24 goals in the process, while conceding only eight.

"You go back to the last five or six games, we have played well," said Walser.

"It's the best we've played, the best stretch we've played, we are not giving up odd-man rushes all over the ice and the competitive level is there.

"There are still things that we want to tighten up on, but all in all, if we continue to play this way we have a shot."

Keith had opened the scoring, but the Giants were 2-1 ahead by the end of the first period and then led 3-1 before Meyer pulled another back.

Forney's goal six minutes from the end gave the Giants breathing space before Ganzak's late empty-net strike.

"We had a great end to the first, the second we were fine but we were just willing to trade chances just a little bit and open it up a bit," said Walser. "Our powerplay was good and then in the third period we played a perfect shut-down period."

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