This weekend sees the Stena Line Belfast Giants face the Manchester Storm in back-to-back home games. Both games, on Friday and Saturday, face-off 7pm at The SSE Arena with the two sides meeting for a second and third time in a week following Sunday’s game in Manchester. This weekend will be the Storm’s first visit to Belfast of the 2018/19 Elite League season.
The Giants trailed 2-0 in the opening five minutes on Sunday though won 6-4 and Head Coach Adam Keefe is expecting a different challenge in Belfast this weekend:
“The games will be completely different at The SSE Arena. I am expecting Manchester to be a different team than what we faced last Sunday, though so will we. We just need to worry about our own game and take care of managing the puck well and I am confident we can get the job done.”
Injuries have become an issue for the Giants lately with Colin Shields, Guillaume Gelinas, Pat Dwyer, Jonathan Boxill and Paul Swindlehurst all missing games. Shields, missing since 6th October, returned to the ice this week for non-contact which was well received by the Giants fans on social media. Pat Dwyer returned to full contact practice on Wednesday.
“We are still ‘day-to-day’. It is nice to have Colin back on the ice as I know it has been a long and frustrating process for him. I hope he feels better and better each day on the ice. Hopefully with Pat Dwyer, we will have him back as soon as possible.”
This weekend begins a run of ten home games in-a-row stretching until the Continental Cup Final on 11th – 13th January. After an impressive run of results and performance on the road, Keefe is being careful in his approach for the upcoming stretch of games at The SSE Arena,
“We need to do the exact same thing – focus on one game at a time. With regards to this weekend vs Manchester we have spoken about focusing on this weekend and going into the Christmas break on a high.”
This weekends games against the Manchester Storm are the last before Christmas – both games face-off 7pm.
Tickets are now on sale online from ticketmaster.ie as well as from the Arena Box Office, in person or by calling (028) 9073 9074.