The Belfast Giants are hoping to strike a blow to the title ambitions of defending Elite League champions Nottingham Panthers when the two sides meet on Tuesday night.
Paul Adey’s side will be determined to produce another strong performance and win in the National Ice Centre.
While the halfway point of the season is yet to be reached, the Giants have proved so far that they deserve to be top of the standings and their comfortable 4-1 win over the Dundee Stars on Sunday night was further evidence that they are the team to beat this season.
Their lead over Braehead is five points but the Giants are currently nine clear of the Panthers, and despite having played three games more, if they were to win again it would open up a sizeable gap forcing Nottingham to win all those games in hand just to get within striking distance.
The other thing in the Giants favour is that they’ve played many more games against the stronger sides in the league.
“I’d certainly take our position that’s for sure,” explained Giants netminder Stephen Murphy.
“Yes, you have to see how things are when the games played evens itself out but we’ll take the points right now and it will be tough for them to make it up having to play those extra games.
“We’re happy with how we’re playing and with what we’re doing so we just have to maintain focus and the momentum and keep moving forward.”
The sides have met twice this season and split the games, each winning in their own building and picking up points on the road against sides likes Nottingham and Sheffield almost count as double when the title will be decided and with the busy holiday period coming up it’s important not to let the exceptionally good start to the season slip in any way.
Murphy added: “It’s always nice to get one up on Nottingham or Sheffield. You know they’re going to be challenging with us towards the end of the year.”