On a night where the only nervous faces in the SSE Arena were people who had bet three figures on the over (I extend my sympathy, by the way) the defending Champion Belfast Giants ran out comfortable 4-2 winners over the Dundee Stars to advance to the Semi-Finals of the Challenge Cup once more.
Adam Keefe’s men had given themselves a considerable buffer in the first leg against the Stars, leaving the DIA with an 8-0 aggregate score- leaving tonight’s game more or less a formality for both sides.
Stars Coach Omar Pacha alluded to the score deficit by starting backup Craig ‘Sheepdog’ Holland in goal and experimenting with his line ups, giving big minutes to his lower lines and fringe players.
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It was however an important night for the Belfast Giants in other ways. Guillaume Gelinas, who had been the healthy scratch in recent weeks, got the start and his name on the scoresheet, and Stephen Murphy and Andrew Dickson split the night between the pipes to take the win.
The Giants do not enter the weekend without their bumps and bruises, however. Jonathan Boxill picked up a knock in the second period, and Paul Swindlehurst did not feature in addition to already injured Patrick Dwyer and Colin Shields.
While tonight was hardly an intense affair, the men in Teal must get right back to work on the road, with physical encounters against the Manchester Storm and Glasgow Clan now on the horizon.
PODCAST: Home At Last – This Week’s A View From The Bridge has Hunter Bishop answer your Fan Agenda questions and give us an insight to his career. We dial up Simon in Spain, look back over the weeks games and discuss the Player of the Month champion.
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Words: Joel Neill Video: Belfast Giants TV
Audio: Joel Neill / AVFTB
Images: William Cherry