Guillaume Gelinas focusing on making bigger impact with Belfast Giants
If he was aiming to make an impact, then Guillaume Gelinas did just that in the Belfast Giants’ win over the Dundee Stars on Tuesday night.
The second leg of their Challenge Cup quarter-final may have been effectively a nothing game, given the Giants led by eight goals from the first leg, but Gelinas’ thundering fourth-minute slapshot certainly made plenty sit up and pay attention.
“I felt like I put a lot of weight on it, so I was happy with it, and when I saw it go in I was really happy about it,” says the Canadian modestly. “It was just a good play by Riles (captain Blair Riley) and I sort of walked into it.”
It was the first action of a man of the match performance for the 25-year-old from Quebec, and a long overdue one at that.
With Belfast having a larger than normal roster this season, Gelinas has more often than not found himself the odd man out when it comes to team selection, taking his place behind the scenes rather than on the ice.
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A pedestrian start to the season has seen him register three goals and 16 points in 29 outings, and it’s led to him being a healthy scratch on a more frequent basis.
It means game time has been limited and, with every opportunity now precious for impressing head coach Adam Keefe, he made the most of his chance against the Stars.
“I’m happy with my game, but it’s just one game. I have to move forward and make sure my next game goes the same way and every game after that too,” Gelinas insists.
“Playing hockey is my job, so every day I try to do my spot in the line-up. It’s always good for the team when you have a lot of depth, every night it can be a different guy so I have to be rested and be prepared to take my chance.
“Just like everybody else I’m trying to do what I can for the line-up, trying to work hard and help the team win. Obviously you’re in or you’re not in, but we all want the team to win and that’s what we hope for.
“You have to have good practice and good games and then hope for the best.”
Forward Patrick Dwyer is back skating during practice and could be in line for a return just after Christmas, while the Giants are hopeful Colin Shields will be back on the ice soon too... not surprising to see that the Giants didn't make a run for former fan favourite Sebastien Sylvestre after Medvescak Zagreb's financial troubles, the Canadian joining DEL2 side EC Kassel Huskies... the Giants held onto top spot in British Ice Hockey's latest power rankings, while David Rutherford was named joint Player of the Week along with Dundee's Francois Bouchard... the Glasgow Clan, who play the Giants on Saturday, released forward Josh Gratton earlier in the week, despite recording a point-per-game pace... great to see women's college hockey coming to Belfast next month after the success of the Friendship Four, with Clarkson and Northeastern playing two games on January 4 and 5, with entry free too... a special mention for Giants netminder Stephen Murphy, who picked up the win over the Stars on his 37th birthday!
Belfast Telegraph Digital