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Belfast Giants focus on snuffing out Cardiff Devils challenge

Colin Shields was on target for the Belfast Giants against the Cardiff Devils in the Elite League game earlier this month

Colin Shields was on target for the Belfast Giants against the Cardiff Devils in the Elite League game earlier this month

With a 17 point lead at the top of the Elite League tucked in their back pocket the Belfast Giants will turn their attention to reaching the final of the Challenge Cup as they take on the Cardiff Devils in the first leg of the semi-final at the Odyssey Arena on Tuesday night.

Like every other team so far this season the Giants have handled the Devils well winning six of their seven meetings, with the only defeat coming in a penalty shoot-out.

Two of those wins came just a fortnight ago when Paul Adey’s side outscored the Welsh side 18-6 in back-to-back games.

However, since then the Devils have made changes to their line-up and despite their disappointing season to date they know this may be their best opportunity to reach a final and win some silverware.

“There are three different championships to win and this is one of them but I think we’ll treat it like any other game,” said Giants defenceman Calvin Elfring.

“To have a chance to try and win three different trophies this year is a great accomplishment. You set out your goals at the start of the season to win as much as you can and we have the opportunity to win three and that’s on our minds right now.

“We have a significant lead in the league right now but in this competition anything can happen in these cup games. We have four games to win it and you can’t afford to take a night off.”

The Devils have shown with recent wins over Sheffield, Nottingham and Dundee that they can’t be take for granted despite how poorly they’ve fared against the Giants, but they have the incentive of the second leg being at home next Wednesday night.

Elfring added: “They probably see this as a chance to win something, they’re close but we’ll approach the game with the same mentality as we do every week.

“We know that when we do that we have a chance to win every game. Every once in a while you get a special team and stuff just comes together and it becomes just a special season.

“You just try and be grateful for it when it happens and that what we have going this season, we just need to focus on every game when it comes around and not get too far ahead of ourselves.”

 

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