The Belfast Giants have announced the arrival of 27 year old Canadian Forward Elgin Pearce for the remainder of the 2019/20 Season.
Giants fans will already be familiar with Pearce, who began this campaign with Omar Pacha’s Dundee Stars, notching 13 goals and 13 assists in 33 games played, good for a total of 26 points.
He also dropped the gloves with former Giant Jean Dupuy during a 7-2 Belfast victory at the SSE earlier this season, a big tilt which put the exclamation point on three periods of chippy, physical hockey.
Dundee, currently languishing at the foot of the EIHL table, rang the changes this past week and released Pearce, along with Forward Justin Maylin.
It was, in all honesty, a decision that was met with surprise from across the league.
Wow…. Huge loss for Dundee… They will kick themselves for this one. If I was Clan, I'd pick him up.
— Gordon Haggis Currie (@GCHaggis) December 17, 2019
He was good enough to play 3rd line at most of the bigger clubs. Pretty strange decision
— SteelerJB (@SteelerJb) December 17, 2019
What??? He was soooo good for them
— SteelersFan? (@SteelersEIHL) December 17, 2019
Whatever Pacha’s reasons for moving on without Pearce, Dundee’s loss is certainly Belfast’s gain in a wild season defined thus far by offensive uncertainty.
Adam Keefe will be very likely thinking of injury cover alongside the club’s immediate need for goal scoring. His side is still well in the mix as they roll headlong into a busy Christmas period, with an unrelenting schedule down the stretch.
Defenseman Kevin Raine is currently out of action, but it doesn’t mean he’s the only one feeling it.
Almost always at this time of year; players are banged up, playing hurt.
With hopes of a Challenge Cup three-peat now by the wayside, the ability to have a fresh body in the lineup is a welcome relief as focus now turns solely to a critical phase of the Giants’ EIHL Title defence.
Pearce played his junior hockey in the WHL, accumulating 148 points in 254 games between 2009 and 2013, and winning a Championship in 2010/11 with Winnipeg’s Kootenay Ice.
Following a short spell in the ECHL- split between the Greenville Road Warriors and Gwinnet Gladiators (where he very briefly shared a roster with the Sheffield Steelers’ Marc Olivier Vallerand, the Cardiff Devils’ Joey Haddad, the Coventry Blaze’s Evan Bloodoff and former Giant Jerome LeDuc), Pearce opted for USports and the University of Calgary, where he would become a standout for the Dinos over the next four years.
In that time he gathered no less than eleven personal accolades including a historic three consecutive R.W. Pugh Awards for sportsmanship and ability.
His 93 points (49G 44A) in 94 games for the Calgary Dinos earned Pearce brief appearances with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose and Texas Stars over the next two seasons, but it was with their ECHL affiliates the Jacksonville Icemen (61GP 23G 27A 50PTS) and Idaho Steelheads (58GP 20G 20A 40PTS) where he would continue to make an impact in the zone.
At six foot one, the British Columbia native will add size and grit to the Giants Forward lines, and Adam Keefe will look to him for offensive spark as well as toughness as the rocky road through the 2019/20 season rolls on.
Elgin, a warm welcome to Belfast. And sorry for giving it to you in the KOTG game report after fighting Jean Dupuy.
That’s on me guys. My bad.
Words: Joel Neill
Audio: Joel Neill / AVFTB
Image / Cover Photo: Courtesy UCalgary Dinos