Morrison feels at home for Belfast Giants
It will be home from home for the Belfast Giants again this evening as they aim to reach a first final in six years.
For one particular player though, the surroundings are anything but unusual.
Mark Morrison grew up playing his ice hockey at the Dundonald Ice Bowl and to be playing professionally at the rink just a five minute walk from his home is a dream come true.
Now he wants to fulfil another dream by following up the 2006 Elite League title success by bringing the Challenge Cup back to Belfast for the first time.
With the first-leg of the semi-final against Coventry Blaze being a 1-1 draw last week, things are perfectly poised for this evening’s Dundonald clash and after beating the defending league champions 5-1 there just three weeks ago Morrison has a repeat performance in mind.
“It’s great getting back to Dundonald, it’s where I learned the game and it brings back some memories,” said Morrison.
“It’s a good atmosphere, the fans enjoyed it. It was unbelievable really and we want to give them another night to enjoy.
“It’s always great beating Coventry, even by one goal, but it was way better beating them 5-1.
“If we could do it again it would be amazing and that’s what well try to do.”
It is a lot different from the Odyssey Arena, but the first Giants game in Dundonald was a huge success and there may be more in the future.
“It’s great just to roll out of bed and go down to play a game,” said Morrison.
“We’ve played in worse rinks in the Elite League and it’s capable of holding matches.”
The Giants last final was their 2003 Play-off win, while in the Challenge Cup the only memories are bad ones, being hammered by Ayr in the 2002 decider in the Odyssey.
“I want to get to a final, every cup matters. We’re in every competition this year, we’re in a good position in them all and we’re looking to win them all which would be something special,” said Morrison.