Johnson wants Giants glory just like mate Allan
Published 07/09/2007 | 12:14
Emulating one of his childhood friends is what will drive Belfast Giants new-boy Trevor Johnson this season.
During his six years with the South Carolina Stingrays the 30-year-old Saskatchewan native helped his team to the East Coast Hockey League title, but it is the Elite League crown that his eyes are now on.
The Monteith Bowl has taken up residence in Belfast twice in the Giants' history and it was another man from the town of Davidson who played a big role in the first triumph back in 2002.
It was Chad Allan's late goal to claim a draw against the Bracknell Bees in January that year which gave the Giants an unassailable lead in the Superleague title race and his name is forever written in the team's history.
Now Johnson wants his name there too.
"I grew up with Chad Allan, he is a good friend of mine because we grew up in the same town," said Johnson.
" I know he'd done well over here, but I didn't know he'd scored the goal that won the league so I guess he's something of a hero.
"Even before I spoke to Ed (Courtenay) about coming here I had a good opinion of this place from talking to people, mostly Chad.
"I had spoken to him in the past, but this summer I had already made my decision before I spoke to him.
"He said I will enjoy it and he had a lot of good things to say about the team and the city."
The first step on the road to winning the title comes tomorrow night when the Edinburgh Capitals visit the Odyssey for the opening Elite League game.
The Giants haven't always had the best of fortune in season openers - particularly in the Championship-winning season of 2001-02 when the London Knights won 9-2 at the Odyssey.
That has changed over the last few years and coach Courtenay will be hoping to continue his 100% record in curtain raisers having beaten the Newcastle Vipers two years ago and the Nottingham Panthers last term.
After finishing runners-up to Coventry Blaze last season, the demanding Odyssey support will expect another title challenge this time around, with a repeat of the 2005-06 triumph the desired outcome.
THE Belfast Giants have announced two fixture changes, before the season has even commenced.
The home game with the Hull Stingrays, scheduled for Thursday February 7, has been brought forward a week to Thursday January 31 and the meeting with the Sheffield Steelers, which had been due to take place on Saturday February 9, has been moved 24 hours to Friday February 8.