The Belfast Giants were greeted by happy fans and loved ones at the International Airport when they arrived home on Monday, following their Premier Sports Elite League victory in Sheffield at the weekend.
The Giants produced a penalty shootout triumph over the Sheffield Steelers on Sunday, with forward Scott Conway sniping Steelers’ goalie Rok Stojanovic at the death, to keep League silverware in Belfast for another year.
It’s a back-to-back victory for the teal team, as they were last ones to win the Elite League three years ago, and they did so on the final night of the season.
The title hasn’t been presented since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This will be the Giants’ first opportunity to defend it successfully.
They were also named Challenge Cup champions less than a month ago.
The Giants produced their first win of the weekend against the Steelers on Saturday night, finishing 3-1, which was also the first of three contests in a week between the rivals.
They will have their last game on Friday, when the Sheffield Steelers come to Belfast’s SSE Arena.
Both have one other game — Sheffield at Glasgow on Tuesday and the Giants host Coventry next Saturday – but Adam Keefe’s side have already been crowned champions, so won’t have too much to worry about.
Sunday’s match was exciting until the very end, with Belfast’s Mark Cooper scoring a minute and a half into play. Mark Garside hit the post inside the last five minutes of the first period.
The Steelers brought it back with a rocket wrist shot from Tanner Eberle in the second period to bring the teams level again.
Despite Sheffield’s John Armstrong coming close to clinching victory for the Steelers just 54 seconds into overtime, he was denied and the penalty shootout ended in dramatic success for the Belfast boys.