Belfast Telegraph

I'm at Giants to be a winner: Dupuy

Glory trail: Belfast Giants centre Jean Dupuy
Glory trail: Belfast Giants centre Jean Dupuy
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Having been forced to sit out for a year, Jean Dupuy isn't one to mince his words when it comes to what he wants to achieve with the Belfast Giants this season.

"I'm hoping to win," said the 24-year-old forward of his hopes for the upcoming campaign.

"Whatever happens, happens, but all that matters to me is making a push for silverware at the end of the season."

After joining St Francis Xavier University in Canada at the start of 2019, Dupuy had to sit out the end of their season due to USports rules that state a player who has played professionally cannot compete in a university league for 165 days.

He still skated with the team in practices, and most days he would train longer and harder than most of the guys who would play at the end of the week. The only difference was Dupuy wasn't getting any games under his belt.

That led to him seeking out an opportunity to return to playing competitively, and that, in turn, brought him to Belfast.

So far, winning hasn't exactly become a habit for the Giants, but that's not to say they're upset with how things have gone. In the Champions League, they've gone toe-to-toe with some of the best that Europe has to offer, and they've impressed at every turn.

Besides one poor performance against Bili Tygri Liberec, Adam Keefe's side have acquitted themselves well, and their reaction to that loss in the Czech Republic - even though it was still a 3-1 defeat to Augsburger Panther - was arguably their best showing of the season so far.

They may not be winning yet, but Dupuy is not dissatisfied.

"After the (Liberec) game we knew we had to get past that one, forget about it and learn from our mistakes. It hadn't been consistent with what we were doing," insisted Dupuy. "We had to get back to what made us successful, and making sure we were strong defensively against Augsburg was a big part of that."

This weekend, the Giants kick off their domestic campaign. They start with the first game of their Challenge Cup defence against the Glasgow Clan at the SSE Arena tomorrow night (7pm).

That's followed by a trip to the Manchester Storm on Sunday (5.30pm) as Keefe's men begin their quest to retain the Elite League title too.

It's a first look at the Elite League for Dupuy, and for nine other members of the Giants roster, as the team embark on another long season they hope will end in more silverware.

For Dupuy, he's confident that this team is ready to produce some fireworks on the ice, and that means picking up a couple of wins to start the season.

"In the second road game we put in a better effort and, although we didn't win, we did a lot of things right and we pinpointed what we can improve on into this week," said the Canadian centre.

"You always want to build off your previous results. If we even want to use it as pre-season then I think that's the best pre-season we could have asked for.

"We're a good team. I don't know what people expected from us in the Champions League but I thought we did pretty well.

"There's a lot of things to build on, definitely, but we're a really strong, defensive team and we're ready to make some noise."

Tomorrow night's game will also see the Giants unveil their banner for winning the 2018-19 Elite League title, with the ceremony beginning roughly five minutes before face-off.

Belfast Telegraph


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