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DeRouville now nets the sack as Courtenay wields axe

By Stuart McKinley

Published 18/10/2007

Philippe DeRouville has become the first victim of Ed Courtenay's player cuts - and he won't be the last.

Courtenay threatened changes and he has now brought in three new players in the space of two days.

The French-Canadian goaltender has effectively been sacked by the Belfast Giants, just 13 games into the season.

He has been replaced by Great Britain international Stevie Lyle and in a twist of fate the Welshman will make his debut at the Odyssey tomorrow night against Basingstoke Bison, the team he played for until yesterday.

And Lyle has been joined in the move across the Irish Sea by forward Pete Campbell, who Courtenay hopes can add firepower to his attack, especially after the news that Scott Cameron - the one player in the Giants team who has been scoring consistently - is out for at least a month after breaking a bone in his foot.

"Just when I thought we would be icing nearly a full squad, I got the phone call that Scott Cameron has a broken foot and will be out for the next few weeks," said Courtenay.

Already Roman Gavalier has missed the last 11 matches and is expected to be out for another couple of weeks, as is Trevor Johnson, who has undergone surgery on a hand injury.

"I have never experienced a string of injuries like this in my entire playing career," said Courtenay.

"Three of our ten import players are now sidelined for the next few weeks.

"I have been on teams that went a whole season without a major injury and we have had three in the first five weeks."

Courtenay now has 12 ITC players on his roster, with Shaun Sutter and Shane Johnson also having been signed since the start of the season and when the injuries clear up two more players will have to go in order to stay within the 10 import rule - which allows teams to field no more than 10 non-British players in any one game.

"Signing Stevie Lyle and Pete Campbell were great steps to improving our squad," added Courtenay.

"Pete is a solid two way forward with a great scoring touch who has a lethal shot and can quarterback the powerplay.

"Stevie is the starting goalie for the GB National Team and we know that he has been a star in British ice hockey for a number of years.

"I am looking forward to working with both players this season."

Belfast Telegraph

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