Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Giants bring in centre David Goodwin as head coach Adam Keefe makes good on threat of changes

New Belfast Giants centre David Goodwin in action for Finnish side SaiPa
New Belfast Giants centre David Goodwin in action for Finnish side SaiPa
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

After dropping their third game in a row to the Dundee Stars on Saturday night, Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe intimated there would be changes to the roster if things did not improve.

And after watching their fourth loss on the bounce in Sunday's night 6-3 defeat at the Coventry Blaze, the head coach has acted, bringing in American centre David Goodwin in an attempt to revitalise their offense.

The Giants have scored just six goals in their last four games and are scoring at a low rate of just over three goals per game in the Elite League this season, falling to 8-5-2 on the campaign and five points behind leaders the Glasgow Clan in fifth. With a massive double-header against title rivals the Cardiff Devils this weekend, action was required.

That comes in the shape of Goodwin, a 27-year-old from St Louis, MO, who looks like he could be a potential scorer in the UK having joined from Allsvenskan side Mora IK, whom the Giants played in pre-season but before Goodwin had joined them.

His numbers with the Swedish side - three goals and just four points in 11 games - were pedestrian at best, but Goodwin's track record speaks of a player who has no shortage of scoring in him, particularly during his college career.

Representing Penn State University from 2013 to 2017, Goodwin put up 44 goals and 128 points in 147 contests for the Nittany Lions, good for a 0.87 points-per-game tally, while he scored at a point-a-game clip in 2015-16 with 38 points in as many games.

He also captained the side in his final season at Penn State and led them to the Big Ten championship title, before they were beaten by the University of Denver in the play-offs, ending his collegiate time as Penn State's 12th all-time leading scorer.

Two years followed with SaiPa in the Finnish Liiga, which saw the 27-year-old put up 25 goals and 61 points in 130 games with the Lappeenranta outfit before he made the switch to Mora, however he departed the Swedish second division side at the end of last month.

"We are still within striking distance of first place, though we cannot continue our current run of form," said Giants head coach Keefe. "We are lacking offense right now, and it is important for us to address it.

"Once we knew David was available we wanted to bring him to Belfast. He will bring quality and speed to our offense. We have to move forward and get back to work right away with important games ahead."

While it is unlikely Goodwin will supplant either Ben Lake or Brian Ward on the top two lines, players who have actually been scoring for the Giants, the new man could slide onto the third line ahead of Jean Dupuy, whose slow start to the season has yielded just four goals and seven points in 26 games.

There has been no word yet on any potential departures from the team, however it is probable there will be given the Giants are unlikely to carry three spare imports, particularly when two of them are defencemen.

Goodwin will wear #64 in Belfast and will be available to play in the weekend's back-to-backs with the Devils at the Viola Arena.

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