Belfast Telegraph

Confident coach Adam Keefe sings Belfast Giants' praises after three-win weekend

Head coach Adam Keefe is delighted to see his side return to form; Pic: Scott Wiggins
Head coach Adam Keefe is delighted to see his side return to form; Pic: Scott Wiggins
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

BELFAST Giants head coach Adam Keefe claimed he expected his team to battle back from their slow start to the season after their 4-2 win at the Coventry Blaze saw them pick up three wins from three at the weekend.

Following a home doubleheader over the Milton Keynes Lightning - which saw them win 5-1 and 7-0 at the SSE Arena - the Giants guaranteed a maximum haul of six points from the weekend with a big road win in the SkyDome on Sunday evening.

Netminder Tyler Beskorowany stood up big for the Giants, making 75 saves across eight periods of action in the three games and improving his stats to an impressive 1.95 GAA and .928 SAV through five games on the season.

The weekend saw the Giants return to form after a poor start to the season, which saw them drop four of five coming into the three-game set, but now they sit fourth in the table and appear to have found their scoring touch again.

“I’m very happy but I’m not surprised,” Keefe told CleanCut Sports, providers of Coventry Blaze’s official webcast, of his side’s recent resurgence.

“We have a good hockey team, we needed to fix some things and focus on some things that we didn’t have early on and I think we did a really good job this weekend. We got a lot better.

“Our entire lineup was pretty tired so we knew it would have to be a gutsy performance to take a result from this building, which is tough to play in, against a Coventry side which is playing well at the moment.

“We knew we’d have to come up with a big performance and I’m very happy with the guys.”

Keefe also revealed that the side had a frank discussion during the week as to why results had been going against them, which helped lead to the change in fortunes on the ice by adopting a more simplistic style of play.

The problem hadn’t been chance creation but rather putting the puck in the back of the net, something which was rectified at the weekend, with the scoring led by Darcy Murphy (4 goals), Patrick Dwyer (4G, 5 assists) and Kyle Baun (4G, 1A).

“(It was) an awareness of the situation we’re in, and we’re changing a few things to bring awareness to the major issues that were costing us games and points against Dundee and Fife, and the Nottingham game as well,” head coach Keefe revealed.

“So we spoke about those issues that were coming up and why we were losing games, and if you look at the stats we should be winning those games. Possession-wise we were great and we were out-shooting and out-creating teams, but we were still losing games and it was about dissecting that and working out why we were allowing teams to outscore us.”

Belfast are next in action on Wednesday night against the Guildford Flames at the SSE Arena (face-off 7:30pm) in another Elite League clash as the side look to climb the table, a game that is live on FreeSports.

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