Belfast Telegraph

Leading Belfast Giants 'not feeling heat'

By Stuart McKinley

Paul Adey claims that the pressure in the Elite League title race in on the chasing pack and not his table-topping Belfast Giants team.

That's because the Giants just keep on winning the big games while the others trip each other up.

While the Giants were beating the Sheffield Steelers 5-2 at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday Cardiff won at home to Nottingham.

Last night the Panthers inflicted a second defeat of the weekend on second placed Braehead Clan last night, with an 8-0 win at the National Ice Centre, while third placed Dundee lost in Edinburgh and Sheffield were beaten in Coventry.

And with the Giants also beating Fife 3-2 on Friday night their lead at the top of the table is now seven points and although all of their rivals have games in hand, none of them have sufficient matches to close the gap.

"If we keep picking up the points obviously it puts pressure on the teams behind us," said Adey.

"They are all trying to keep up, so every time we put two points on the board then it adds a little more pressure to the other teams.

"It was a big win for us against Sheffield, they are a good team

"If we keep performing like we did tonight then we will win our share of games."

The Giants showed the grit and determination that is a key characteristic of this season's team to overturn an early Sheffield goal, as Steven Goertzen scored at 5:53.

They were in the lead for less than a minute and within 74 second of the goal they were 2-1 behind. Colin Shields equalised before Robby Sandrock put the Giants in front.

Shields then netted just five seconds before the end of the second period as the Giants took control.

Sheffield rallied and Drew Fata pulled one back with one minute 40 second to go and they thought they had equalised after a scramble in front of Stephen Murphy's goal when their own goaltender Frank Doyle had been pulled.

In the end the Giants rubbed salt into the wounds with not just one, but two empty net goals from Sandrock and Kevin Saurette.

"They are strong defensively, there is no question about that, but it was a good reaction from us," said Adey.

"We took a goal and then straight away we scored two within a couple of minutes and took the lead and that put the pressure back on them.

"We really shut then down after that and played very well defensively. We didn't give them a lot of opportunities. They did get a goal near the end, but I overall we negated their scoring chances."

Belfast Telegraph


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