Belfast Giants go for four-in-a-row in Flames test
IT'S a rare midweek game for the Belfast Giants tonight as they aim to continue their record good run of form in the Elite League.
Three wins at the weekend, two against Milton Keynes and one away to Coventry, ended a run of four defeats in five for Belfast and saw them jump from bottom to fourth in the table, making much better reading on Monday.
Being in second place would make for even better reading, which is where they would find themselves if they can keep that run going tonight against the Guildford Flames at the SSE Arena (face-off 7.30pm, live on FreeSports).
It was much better from the Giants, who finally shook off their issues in front of goal and started finishing the many chances they created with 16 goals across the three games, backed by another stand-out weekend from netminder Tyler Beskorowany.
Led by Patrick Dwyer (12 points, tied for second in the league) and backed by the impressive scoring of Kyle Baun and d-man Josh Roach, Belfast seem to have thrown off the shackles that were holding them back, as well as shoring up a defense that was leaking turnovers every game.
- Confident coach Adam Keefe sings Belfast Giants' praises after three-win weekend
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The Flames (4-2-0), meanwhile, have started their second season in the Elite League strongly under coach Paul Dixon having brought back the core of the side that led them to the play-offs in their inaugural season last year.
In Kruise Reddick (5G, 5A) they have one of the most dangerous forwards in the league right now, while Carl Ackered is one of the best two-way defensemen in the EIHL who quarterbacks their powerplay from the blueline.
One thing they have struggled for, however, is secondary scoring. Behind their first line of Reddick, Ian Watters and John Dunbar, their best points production comes from second- and third-line centers Evan Ritt (2G, 2A) and Ben Davies (4A).
Guildford have potentially once of the best goalie tandems in former NHL draft pick Chris Carrozzi (2.28 GAA, .907 SAV) and EIHL veteran Travis Fullerton (2.50, .935), however if they can't find some depth production from their second and third lines then it makes them easy to defend against.
Adam Keefe's side will be confident that they can keep this run going, particularly at home, especially now they've found that scoring touch. Don't bet against them.
D Murphy - Dwyer - Rutherford
Baun - Johner - Bishop
Beauvillier - Ferland - Riley
Hook - Boxill - Towe
Leonard - Roach
Swindlehurst - Gelinas
McFaull - Garside
Belfast Telegraph Digital