Belfast Telegraph

Keefe is thrilled to land Lowney and bolster the Giants' defence

Ryan Lowney
Ryan Lowney
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe says the team were eager to get defenceman Ryan Lowney on board after agreeing a deal to bring the American in for the rest of the season.

The 25-year-old joins from Slovakian side HKM Zvolen and is set to go straight into the line-up for this weekend's double-header against the Nottingham Panthers.

It is an interesting move from the Giants to bring in another defenceman given they boast the Elite League's stingiest defence, conceding on average just 2.09 goals per game.

However, Keefe has made the decision to reinforce the team's back end by bringing in Michigan native Lowney as they aim to solidify their place at the top of the Elite League table.

"Due to injuries we have been on the lookout for an addition to our team for a few weeks now. Once we knew Ryan was available, we moved quickly to bring him to Belfast," said head coach Keefe.

"He will be a solid addition to our blueline with the ability to contribute on special teams. I know our fans are going to love watching Ryan in action this season."

Lowney does join one familiar face on the roster in the form of Curtis Leonard, with the pair team-mates at the Fort Wayne Komets from 2016 to 2018.

An offensive defenceman, Lowney scored 15 goals and 79 points in just 176 contest for the Komets in the ECHL, and his displays in Fort Wayne saw him named the team's Defenceman of the Year last season.

His time on the East Coast came after a decorated college career with Ferris State, which saw him named on the NCAA (WCHA) All-Academic Team for three straight years between 2014 and 2017.

Lowney was part of the Bulldogs side that won the WCHA Championship in 2016, the college's first post-season league championship.

After just 18 games with Zvolen, Lowney asked to be released from his contract after failing to settle in Slovakia and will now link up with the Giants.

Meanwhile, Belfast d-man Kevin Raine has been named EIHL Player of the Week after scoring three goals as the Giants won all three games.

The Ontario native registered 10 shots on goal in his 12 attempts over the three games, combining that with his usual excellent defensive displays as the Giants conceded just five goals in their three games.

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