Hook expects Giants to come out fighting
They say sport is 10% skill and 90% mentality, and in that regard it's interesting to hear Belfast Giants winger Lewis Hook preaching positivity ahead of their Scottish double-header this weekend.
The Giants head to Kirkcaldy to take on the Fife Flyers tonight (face-off 7.15pm) before setting off down the road to Dundee to face the Stars tomorrow (5pm) aiming to banish the spectre of Wednesday night's 5-0 shut-out loss at the Sheffield Steelers.
It was a stark decline in fortunes for the streaky Giants, who went from the highs of doing the double over rivals the Cardiff Devils in the Viola Arena last weekend to being brought back down to earth in Sheffield.
But winger Hook insists that while the midweek result obviously wasn't ideal, the Giants' confidence hasn't been shaken.
"We know we're a good team. We skate well, we're physical and we play some good hockey, so as long as we go in with confidence and play the way we want to play then we know we can cause problems," said the 23-year-old.
"In a season like this, you can't dwell on losses. We had a game on Wednesday and now we have a game on Saturday, so we can't dwell on a loss. They happen, and it's how you bounce back from that.
"We've shown already we can bounce back from tough times and we're determined to do that again on Saturday."
Despite their confidence remaining at a high level, Wednesday night's loss - which has left the Giants four points off top spot in the Elite League at 10-6-2 on the season - once again reflected the ongoing struggles that Adam Keefe's side have dealt with all campaign.
They peppered Steelers goalie Tomas Duba with 49 shots at the FlyDSA Arena and failed to beat him with any, reflecting how problematic finding a clinical edge has been for this team.
They currently sit sixth in the Elite League in goals per game (3.00), and while that looked to have improved in Cardiff, the same issues reared their head to plague them again in Sheffield.
While chance creation has not been a problem, with the Giants leading the league in shots per game (36.33), their finishing has to improve if they are going to put together a consistent run and challenge for the title.
"Part of our problem is that we haven't been scoring much this season, but once we start finding the back of the net it should get a lot easier," insisted Hook.
"Right now we're still in a good spot. We get two wins at the weekend and we're sitting in a good spot going into December.
"We'll all hold our hands up and say we have more to give, and once we start getting that consistency, that's key. If we find that soon then we'll be going well into the New Year.
"The boys are still positive, the boys still have confidence after that last weekend in Cardiff. It's a new weekend, new game in Fife and we just have to go in and play our game."
• THE Northeastern Huskies and Colgate Raiders will contest today's Friendship Four at the SSE Arena.
Northeastern defeated the University of New Hampshire 4-0 in the first semi-final, with Colgate defeating Princeton 3-1.