The Belfast Giants sit on top of the Elite Ice Hockey League table with 3 wins in as many nights against Scottish opposition. Victories in Fife, Glasgow and a scintillating display tonight in Dundee left the Giants clear of the Fife Flyers in 2nd place.
With the Cardiff Devils losing to the Nottingham Panthers and the Coventry Blaze, the Giants hopes in the chase for the league title were no doubt boosted. But at this stage you need only worry about your own game, and with 12 goals scored, 4 conceded this weekend, and 14 wins in the last 16 games, Adam Keefes side will rest up this week ahead of a tought battle in Nottingham and Cardiff next weekend, knowing that their form is strong.
It began on friday night with the Giants winning the top of the table clash in Kircaldy, Blair Riley and David Rutherford scoring and providing for each other in a 2-1 victory.
Riley, who narrowly missed out on the AVFTB Player of the Month award for October, was to further enhance his leadership of the team with a hat-trick on Saturday night against the Glasgow Clan.
The game included a clash of the captains, Clan Captain, Zack Fitzgerald, did his best to pull Riley into a misdemeanour in the second period. However the Giants leader wanted nothing of it and Fitzgerald’s antics served only to contrive for the Giants 2nd goal, Riley tipping in on the powerplay.
Jonathan Boxill was to add the icing on the cake, firing home a rebound from a lovely move by Hunter Bishop, and the Giants moved onto Dundee Ice Arena chasing the maximum break.
Belfast’s last encounter in Dundee lay in the middle of their September Slump, but following a strong October, the Giants November visit to Tayside was to be ever more fruitful. 5 different scorers put 6 Giants goals into the books, Lewis Hook with a brace. Rutherford and Riley continued finding the twine, while Dustin Johner and Kyle Baun rounded out the scoresheet in a 6-3 victory.
Darcy Murphy across the weekend provided 5 assists on the 12 goals, while Patrick Dwyer, returning to the line up this weekend with Jim Vandermeer, picked up 4 apples himself on Sunday.
Giants move on, 2 more games ont he road before returning to the SSE Arena for the Continental Cup.
However those two games are two real tests. Nottingham lie in wait stinging from the Giants last visit and reinvigorated having tonight defeated the league champion Cardiff Devils. And its the Devils who will follow the Panthers and host the Giants on Sunday night.
The Road Swing continues.. but confidence is high.
Well Played Lads.
PODCAST: ROAD WARRIORS – Blair Riley, Adam Keefe, Aaron Murphy are all part of this weeks A View From The Bridge Podcast, Official Podcast of the Belfast Giants, part of Kingdom Of The Giants.
Words: Patrick Smyth Audio: Joel Neill / AVFTB Pictures: Derek Black
Video: Flyers TV / Clan TV / Stars TV