Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Giants netminder Tyler Beskorowany named EIHL Player of the Week

Belfast Giants netminder Tyler Beskorowany makes a save. Pic: Scott Wiggins
Belfast Giants netminder Tyler Beskorowany makes a save. Pic: Scott Wiggins
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

After backstopping the Belfast Giants to a massive four-point weekend over two conference rivals, netminder Tyler Beskorowany has been rewarded with the Elite League Player of the Week award.

The 28-year old has been in sensational form for the Giants to start the season, and last weekend he saved 44 of the 45 shots he faced against the Nottingham Panthers and Cardiff Devils for a .978 save percentage and a 0.50 goals against average.

That helped Belfast to their sixth and seventh straight wins and increased their lead at the top of the Elite League to four points, with their 4-0 shutout of the Panthers and 8-1 drubbing of the Devils two big statements to the rest of the league.

Beskorowany has been a huge part of the Giants' success this season, leading the league in both save percentage (.940) and goals against average (1.67), pulling off some jaw-dropping saves in the process.

The Canadian replaced Jackson Whistle in the Belfast net after joining from the Edinburgh Capitals in the off-season and, despite conceding only one goal on the weekend, there was a reason he was a little sheepish after his shutout in Nottingham.

"(The weekend) was really good," said Ontario native Beskorowany. "I think I played well, and for the entire team it was a ‘statement weekend’ for us going into Nottingham and Cardiff. We outscored them 12-1 this weekend, and it was really good for the teams to get those wins.

"In Nottingham it did feel a little bittersweet. I felt bad that it was their teddy bear toss event, but at the same time I’ll take a shutout when I can!"

Beskorowany will undoubtedly be another key component this weekend when the Belfast Giants go into European action when they host the semi-final stage of the Continental Cup at the SSE Arena.

Austrian side Medvescak Zagreb, Italian outfit Rittner Buam and runaway Polish league leaders GKS Katowice are the visitors for the three-day tournament, which takes place from Thursday to Saturday.

However, on the run the Giants are on - they've won 16 of their last 18 games in all competitions - they should fancy their chances at making it to January's final stage by being one of the top two sides come the end of Saturday's action.

"It’s definitely good for us to be on a hot streak at the moment going into the Continental Cup," believes Beskorowany. "We’ll be facing teams we haven’t played yet, so we don’t really have much to go off or base off of.

"But we have to play the way we have been, because we’ve been successful playing our own game and not relying on the other teams."


Giants shorts

This is the second week in a row a Giants player has won the EIHL Player of the Week after Blair Riley won it last week... Darcy Murphy is on a 15-game point streak right now, saved by his late goal in the win at Cardiff on Sunday... the Belfast Giants now have five of the EIHL's top eight points scorers on the season... the Giants held onto top spot in British Ice Hockey's latest power rankings following last weekend, Fife are in second... Rittner will be without key defensive duo Radovan Gabri and Kai Lehtinen for the Continental Cup this week, 17-year old Michael Lang is set to deputise on the blueline...former Giants favourite Sebastien Sylvestre and his Medvescak Zagreb side face the Vienna Capitals tonight (6.15pm face-off UK time) in their final game before travelling over for the Continental Cup tomorrow

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