Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Ex-captain Johnson quick to answer Belfast Giants’ SOS call

Former captain Shane Johnson will skate to the rescue for the Belfast Giants

Shane Johnson has been handed the opportunity to add to his record number of appearances for the Belfast Giants.

The former captain went out on a high at the end of last season as he retired after helping the Giants win the play-off title.

Now an emergency call has gone out with coach Doug Christiansen operating with a squad that is seriously depleted by injury.

Assistant coach Rob Stewart dressed for Saturday night’s win over the Hull Stingrays — although he didn’t play — but it is more likely that Johnson, who is eight years younger than 44-year-old Stewart, will be back on the ice in a Giants shirt.

His return won’t come quick enough to feature when the Stingrays come to the Odyssey this evening.

“Shane has skated with us a couple of times and there is the possibility that we will bring him into the line-up,” revealed Christiansen.

“Since he retired at the end of last season Shane has other things going on in his life and other priorities.

“We are in a position where we have to get someone in to help us in defence and it might be Shane.

“He is a quality player and a good professional who has been around a long time and I know what he will bring to our team if he comes on-board.”

A string of various events at the Odyssey mean that the Giants don’t have another home game after tonight until November 13.

And with just two away games before then the Giants are there to be shot at by teams who are on their tails in the Elite League title race, which means stretching their lead to seven points this evening would be a major positive.

“All things considered I have to be happy with how we are doing,” said Christiansen.

“We have only played five games at home and we are short on numbers.

“Having said that I believe there is still room for improvement, but it is hard to improve when there are so few players to work with.”

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