Two games tonight in the Elite Ice Hockey League begin a big weekend of fixtures, with 12 taking place between this evening and Sunday night. Both the Belfast Giants and Nottingham Panthers head for three-in-three road trips!
Here is the latest from each camp involved tonight:
The Giants head on the road not only for three straight games, but also a back-to-back series in Milton Keynes tonight and tomorrow. The hosts lost out 5-1 and 7-0 when they visited Northern Ireland earlier this season and will be doubtless wanting to put that right.
“Our focus as a group will be to negate their speed through the neutral zone and have a quick transition into their zone. As a group our focus will be to negate their speed through the neutral zone and have a quick transition into their defensive zone creating scoring play fast and attach with 4 lines deep. The main focus will be to play 0-0, 5 on 5 and capitalise on powerplay opportunities. We want to minimise their puck possession time in our defensive zone. Special teams will be an important part of the game. They’re a very experienced group and they’ll be a difficult challenge in our second meeting of the weekend” – Doug McKay (Head Coach)
“This is another important weekend for us with three games. First and foremost – we need to be focused on Milton Keynes and worry about Guildford later. They will put up a tough test for us and we will need to be ready to go on Friday. They posted a well deserved win over Nottingham after their back-to-back games in Belfast and we are aware of the dangers that the Lightning can hurt us with. This weekend starts a tough road stretch for us and we need to continue find a way to perform well away from home over the coming weeks.” – Adam Keefe (Head Coach)
Glasgow Clan vs. Nottingham Panthers (Tickets)
The Panthers head for their Scottish triple header as league leaders, but know they’re only a point ahead of the chasing pack having played more games. They begin tonight against a Clan side that beat them 5-2 in Nottingham earlier this season, while the Clan will be looking to end a run of three straight home defeats against the Panthers as they open their home league campaign.
“Nottingham might be top of the league, but I think everyone is striving to beat Cardiff Devils and Panthers are with the Devils and Belfast Giants, on paper, as the three best teams, plus Fife are in the mix at the top as well right now. I’m pretty sure they didn’t expect to lose to us when we went there last month and we played a really good game that night. Our offence clicked and we took our chances so I’m looking for more of the same. We’re at home, we have a good crowd, the guys are up for it and we’re against a top team. These are the sort of game that are easy for players to get up for.“ – Pete Russell (Head Coach)
“We have to take this trip one day and one game at a time. We can’t be thinking about six points, just have to focus by each period. We’re going to have some tired moments this weekend, it’s just a matter of getting back to our game plan and trying to battle it out. We can’t take anyone lightly, they came into our barn, took a win, and we have to show them that they can’t take us lightly.” – Luke Pither (Forward)