Relaxed approach helps me flourish, says Pearce
Sometimes a move to a new team works out for all parties. That certainly applies to Belfast Giants forward Elgin Pearce.
After being released by fellow Elite League side the Dundee Stars, it took the Giants just four days to pick up the talented Canadian centre and so far the move has paid off handsomely.
Pearce loves his new surroundings in Belfast, and his performances on the ice have certainly reflected that. With four goals and 10 points in just eight games since jumping across the Irish Sea, he's been a revelation in teal for a team crying out for some consistent attack.
The secret, according to Pearce himself, was not putting any pressure on himself to hit the ground running with his new team. He believes that is what has allowed him to flourish.
"When you come into a new team, you don't try to put too many expectations on yourself and I think that's been good for me," said the 27-year-old, who had nine goals and 18 points in 25 games for Dundee.
"That's allowed me to come in and just do my thing. It's worked, so I'm going to keep doing that."
It's also helped that he's found some chemistry quickly, too - in particular with fellow new arrival Rickard Palmberg, who has been in similarly lethal form having scored five goals and 10 points in nine games.
The pair have been rooming together since moving to Belfast, as well as clicking on the ice, and Pearce admits that has helped his transition to his new team.
"In the first game, Keefer (head coach Adam Keefe) threw us together and we clicked right off the bat. We have a lot of chemistry, so it's nice to get to know him," said the centre.
The Giants are preparing for what could be their biggest game of the season so far, welcoming league leaders the Sheffield Steelers (23-10-1, 47pts) to the SSE Arena tonight (face-off 7pm).
The Giants currently trail their rivals by seven points in the standings but have two games in hand, and with a trip to Sheffield to come next weekend as well, there's a chance to pull back that deficit by the end of the month.
The significance of the game isn't lost on Pearce, who added: "I think every game from here on out is a must-win. Obviously we want to establish ourselves against Sheffield since they're the top team and show that we're right there with them.
"I think it'll be a good test for our team. Their offensive power is so impressive. They have a lot of guys who know how to put the puck in the back of the net and we'll need a big defensive performance to stop them."
The game against the Steelers will be preceded by a minute's applause in memory of former Giants game day announcer Stephen Clements, who passed away suddenly on Tuesday.