Belfast Telegraph

If Devils slip, we'll be ready, says Giants boss Keefe

By Stuart McKinley

Adam Keefe has vowed that his Belfast Giants will be ready to take advantage of any slip up by Cardiff Devils after the destiny of the Elite League title slipped out of their hands.

A penalty shoot-out victory for the Giants on Friday and a Saturday overtime win for the Devils saw both teams take three points out of the top-of-the-table double-header at the SSE Arena, meaning the Devils maintained their seven-point lead at the top.

It could have been worse for the Giants. They were 2-0 down after a second-period brace from Layne Ulmer before the fightback kicked in just 83 seconds after his second goal.

Spiro Goualkos and Blair Riley scored to take the game into overtime, guaranteeing both teams at least a point.

Instead of cutting the gap to five points and being in control of their own destiny with three more games against the Devils to come this season and six points to play for, Giants fans saw Cardiff grab the winner through Joey Martin two minutes into overtime and it is they who have their fate in their own hands.

"I'm really proud of the guys this weekend," said Keefe. We proved we belong right up there with Cardiff.

"Obviously they have a comfortable lead in terms of the league table right now, the good news we will take out of this it is that they didn't gain on that. In terms of the league table we put up some numbers this weekend as well.

"We have to take the positives out of it. They have the ball in their court but we'll be making sure that we do our job to be at their heels if they slip up and lose a game here or there. We'll be there and we'll be ready to pounce on them."

The key clashes for the Giants now are a trip to Cardiff on Sunday February 25, followed by a home battle on Friday, March 16

Keefe will hope that the title race is still alive after that weekend and that the scheduled meeting in Wales the following Saturday - the penultimate game of the season - means something to his team.

Belfast Telegraph

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