Just the single game on Friday night, and it’s in the Challenge Cup qualifying stages. Belfast Giants host the Dundee Stars in the SSE Arena, and many people think that they will make it three wins out of three. Let’s look ahead to it.
It’s the opening home night for Adam Keefe and his newly reshaped Giants roster on Friday as they play their latest game in Challenge Group B. The Giants have started their defence of the trophy, that they won so well in Cardiff, in impressive fashion with two road wins for a 100 per cent record. One of those wins came at the home of Friday’s opponents, Dundee, and few reckon that the Stars will deny them another win.
Giants have been excellently backstopped by Tyler Beskorowany whilst looking pretty potent in offence. Kyle Baun lit the lamp twice on Tayside to help the Giants to success there but even he was usurped on Sunday when Darcy Murphy opened his account in superb style at Fife: scoring a hat-trick. With seasoned veterans such as the evergreen Colin Shields and former NHLers in Jim Vandermeer and Patrick Dwyer in the team, Giants look impressive from back to front.
Stars have also undergone a change of personnel like most clubs. Their biggest chance of surprising the Giants on their home ice will be down to former SHL netminder Pontus Sjogren. The Swede will have to have one the best games of his career to deny the Giants a home win. Offensively they will be looking at new player-assistant coach Matt Marquardt and Brian Hart, whilst there is a return to Northern Ireland for forward Matt Bissonnette who had a eight game spell in the teal last season. Could the former player strike against his old club?
Tickets are available from the SSE Arena Box office in person or online and there’s likely to be a webcast available from Giants TV.