Belfast Giants riled by Hull Stingrays' 'cheap' tactics
Belfast Giants 3 Hull Stingrays 2 (Giants win 7-3 on aggregate) Belfast Giants coach Paul Adey has hit out at Hull Stingrays' Pavel Gomeniuk for leaving Craig Peacock on crutches after what he branded a 'cheap hit.'
Peacock is almost certainly out of the Play-off finals weekend in Nottingham after being the victim of a nasty clash with Gomeniuk during Saturday night's quarter-final first leg.
The 25-year-old was on crutches when the Giants landed back in Belfast yesterday and watched from the stands as his team won 3-2 in the second leg at the Odyssey to claim a 7-3 aggregate victory.
Gomeniuk has already been hit with a three-match suspension, but that is little consolation to Adey, who will now have to prepare for Saturday's Play-off semi-final against the Fife Flyers without a man who has delivered 23 goals this season.
"It doesn't look good for Peacock. I can't see him being back for next weekend – it'll be a miracle," said Adey.
"For me these low hits three seconds after the puck has been moved is cheap.
"I have no respect for that kind of hit.
"There is no reason, he is a big enough guy to stand up and finish his checks, he doesn't need to go low and I hear he's done it before in this league.
"I think back 10, maybe 20 years ago if a guy did that he would never have finished the game.
"No-one would let him come off unless he was coming off in a bad way, but today you can't do anything about it because as soon as you do that you're going to get the five-game suspension, not the original guy.
"We had to keep our composure because we weren't very happy about it. Even tonight we were a bit displeased about that whole situation.
"All in all he gets a three-game suspension, but only misses one game this year and it doesn't really help us in terms of next weekend because Peacock is out.
"For me it was a cheap hit, I didn't appreciate it."
The Giants had looked to be coasting into the final four weekend after winning the first leg 4-1, but after a scoreless opening period Hull struck two short-handed goals – both from Carl Lauzon – just 64 seconds apart just before the midway point of the game to give them hope of a comeback.
The Giants nerves were calmed when Colin Shields scored two minutes from the end of the second period and goals from Kevin Saurette and Darryl Lloyd ensured that the Elite League champions will go to Nottingham this weekend looking to secure a second piece of silverware this season.
"It's nice to get to the finals because it's been a tough week," said Adey, whose team lost the Challenge Cup final to Nottingham on Tuesday night.
"We had to travel to Nottingham for the second leg of the final and then we come back and we had travel again to Hull for the first game of the series with them.
"Again we had to get up and travel again on the day of the game to play at four o'clock.
"When I look at our schedule this week and I see that we've qualified I'm pretty happy.
"The guys looked tired physically and mentally, but credit to the, they still managed to find a way to win and go through – and win the game also."