Belfast Telegraph

Keefe confident Giants will be back stronger after tough loss

 

Defiant: Adam Keefe believes his side can cope with defeat
Defiant: Adam Keefe believes his side can cope with defeat
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe insists his side will bounce back quickly from their heartbreaking overtime defeat to Augsburger Panther on Saturday night in the Champions League.

The Giants were defeated 3-2 at the SSE Arena when Canadian centre Matt Fraser scored 31 seconds into overtime for the Germans, handing them the win.

However, there was plenty of drama in regulation time as well as Belfast winger Bobby Farnham had a goal ruled out for a high stick with just 1:02 remaining in the third period, which looked to be an incredibly marginal call.

Despite the loss, the Giants are joint top of their CHL group on four points after two games alongside Augsburger and Swedish side Lulea, and Keefe was thrilled with his team's performances in defeating Czech side Bili Tygri Liberec in their first game and then pushing the Panthers all the way on Saturday.

"It's been a great team-building exercise, the first two games in the Champions League, to know we can compete with teams of this calibre, and we're looking forward to continuing this," praised Keefe.

"I think the guys are a bit devastated right now but that won't last too long. We won't let them hang their heads for too long because we had a massive win on Thursday, and then to follow it up and prove it wasn't a fluke, that's special for these guys and a big building block for us.

"Bringing in 13 new guys and having them gel like this and have this experience before we've even played an Elite League game, that's special for us.

"We want to stay healthy and build on this."

The Giants resume their CHL campaign on Thursday night when they travel to the Czech Republic to face Bili Tygri Liberec (6.45pm UK time), with the return game against Augsburg on Sunday (4pm UK time).

Meanwhile, the Belfast Giants' SNL team lost their debut game in the Scottish National League, defeated 13-1 by Solway Sharks.

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