Belfast Telegraph

Raine is hoping Giants can push on and stay in the goal routine


Kevin Raine
Kevin Raine
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

He doesn't score many goals, but Belfast Giants defenceman Kevin Raine seems to pick up some rather nice ones when he does.

A case in point was his opener against the Fife Flyers on Wednesday. Raine got on the puck, put it through d-man Dylan Quaile's legs and finished low into the bottom corner.

It was the first blow on the way to a 4-1 win in Kirkcaldy, which improved the Giants to 6-1-2 in the Elite League, but Raine isn't considering a position switch just yet.

"I've been waiting for one of those. It was fun!" laughed the Canadian, who has now scored five goals in three seasons in Belfast. "But it was more luck than anything, let's be honest here!"

While that may be a modest assessment of a nice finish, there's nothing modest about how the Giants have improved recently.

After a rough start, featuring a six-game losing streak, the defending league champions have found their stride, winning four on the spin and breaking an eight-game losing run too.

"The difference between four in a row this way compared to six in a row the other way is quite different," said Raine.

"That was the most frustrating thing about that losing streak. We felt we were working hard and doing the right things, but we weren't scoring. Now that we've found a scoring touch, we're finding ways to win.

"We're having fun again and we're still doing the right things. We're not so deflated. We're excited coming to the rink. We're in a groove and we're going to continue that way."

Tonight, the Coventry Blaze are at the SSE Arena (face-off 7pm) for the first game of a double-header, with the Giants heading to the SkyDome tomorrow for the return fixture (5.30pm).

The Blaze (7-4-0, 14pts) are currently tied with the Giants in the standings and have played two games more, but their exciting attack - led by top line duo Charles Corcoran and Janne Laakkonen - will provide plenty of danger over the two games.

"They look like they're playing quite well. We're looking forward to seeing them for the first time this season," added Raine.

• JUNIOR Belfast Giants forward Mack Stewart, son of Giants assistant coach Rob, has been called up to Team GB's roster for the Youth Winter Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland in January.

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