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Giants steeled for pair of wins



Big threat: Giants’ Ben Lake is in the hunt for goals

Big threat: Giants’ Ben Lake is in the hunt for goals

William Cherry/Presseye

Big threat: Giants’ Ben Lake is in the hunt for goals

In order to try and go on a run to fire them back up the Elite League standings, the Belfast Giants are focusing on themselves ahead of tonight's clash at the Glasgow Clan (7pm face-off).

Adam Keefe's side have fallen to fourth after another frustrating weekend saw them pick up a brilliant win against the league leading Sheffield Steelers, only to lose two days later at the Guildford Flames in another sub-par second game performance.

Now, at 20-12-2 on the season, they are seven points off the Steelers at the top of the standings and still can't find that run of form that could see them shoot up the table and back into contention.

Arguably there's no better time than the present for them to find that much-needed four-point weekend either, with a trip to Sheffield tomorrow after tonight's game against the Clan, which gives them a big chance to try and claw back some of the deficit to the pace-setters.

And having had a full week to prepare for the two-game road trip, the team are confident they can get back to what has served them well in the past by looking within themselves.

"We've all played this game for a long time. We know how to be successful, we know what makes our team successful, so sticking to what we do best is what will get us back on track," says forward Ben Lake.

"Grinding down teams, playing good defensively. When we don't defend well, we lose games. When we concede only one or two goals, we usually win, so I think defending well has to be our main focus. That's what we're putting our focus on."

Tomorrow's game against the Steelers has the potential to make or break the Giants' season given where the two sit in the standings currently.

While Belfast have two games in hand over their rivals, should they lose at the flyDSA Arena then the gap would be nine points - provided they can also do the business against the Clan tonight - which would be a considerable mountain to climb as teams head into the latter stages of the campaign, particularly with the Cardiff Devils and Nottingham Panthers also lurking and in strong form.

However, Lake reveals that the Giants haven't spoken about their rivals and are instead putting a premium on doing the job themselves, starting with picking up two wins this weekend.

"We want to win every game. We've shown we can beat Sheffield, and when we defend well against Sheffield they get frustrated," reveals Lake.

"Going into there, it's a tough building to win in, but they've taken one from us at home so we need to do the same to them."

It's been a good week personally for Lake as well, with the forward having been called up to the Great Britain roster for their Olympic qualifiers next month.

GB face Estonia, Hungary and Romania in Nottingham for a place in August's final qualifiers that will determine who takes part at Beijing 2022.

"It's always exciting to be able to play with that group of guys on that team. I think everyone's excited about it, especially off the results of the World Championships," adds Lake.

"We feel we have a good shot at winning that group and advancing and seeing how far we can go. We know what's expected of us and we know if we don't come together right away then it'll be a long tournament."

Belfast Telegraph