Adam Keefe wants his team to “impress themselves” this weekend when the 2018/19 season gets underway. The Giants start the season with back-to-back Challenge Cup away games in Dundee on Saturday and Sunday in Fife.
Face-Off on Saturday is 7pm and Giants fans can watch live in Odyssey Cinemas thanks to the Official Supporters Club or online with Stars TV. Sunday’s game in Fife starts 6:30pm and will be shown live online with 247.tv.
Following this weekends games the Giants will then return to Belfast for five home games in the next six – starting with back-to-back games at The SSE Arena on Friday 14th September vs Dundee Stars and vs Glasgow Clan on Saturday 15th September.
Coach Keefe has seen his team on the ice over the course of the last three weeks as well as the two exhibition games against the Manitoba Bisons in Belfast and is making sure his 2018/19 team are well prepared for this weekends Challenge Cup Group B games in Scotland,
“We are going over things we have been over the last few weeks and making sure everyone is up to speed. I know, first hand, once you go over things it is easy to forget if things are not repeated over and over again.”
“I want to make sure guys are retaining as much as possible and not having to over think on the ice this week. We want to make sure we are ready to go this weekend”
The upcoming games also see the start of the Giants Challenge Cup defence following the 6-3 victory over the Cardiff Devils in March. Last season the Giants won Group A and the 2018/19 season sees the team start with a target on their backs as they look to win back-to-back Challenge Cups for the first time in the organisation’s history.
“We will speak about retaining the trophy before the weekend. We have spoken about the importance of all four trophies and the different format over here compared to North America with the League format, Continental Cup, Challenge Cup and Playoffs. That is a lot different to what guys are used to and it important they they grasp that.”
“We want to get off to a good start and put ourselves in a good position to earn a berth in the quarter finals.”
Last season the Giants got off to a shaky start with a loss in Dundee, however advanced to the quarter finals after clinching first place in their Challenge Cup group. The Fife Flyers were chosen as the opponents and a defeat of the Scottish side followed by a semi-final victory over the Panthers saw the Giants advance to the final against the Devils for the first time since 2009.
“I expect more of the same this weekend from Dundee and Fife. They are two teams that are extremely hard to play against, especially in their own arenas.”
“They work and compete hard and if we give them too many chances they will make us pay. Both have had good exhibition results and they will be firing on all cylinders and excited for the first competitive games this weekend.”
“We want to make sure we come out and impress ourselves.”