The Belfast Giants face the Cardiff Devils in a home-and-home doubleheader this weekend starting with the clash at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday night with the return in the Welsh capital on Sunday.
Despite having their nine game winning streak halted at the hands of the Dundee Stars last Saturday night, Paul Adey’s side still have a healthy 12 point leads at the top of the Elite League standings.
“We were one point short of our target but you can’t be disappointed with the position we’re in.
“Guys put on a lot of work over the holiday period and made a lot of sacrifices and now we find ourselves in a good position going into the second half of the year,” said forward Colin Shields.
The two sides met five times in the early part of the season with the Giants winning four of those encounters although the Devils came to Belfast and won in a shoot-out.
At the start of the campaign the Devils were in disarray but after a coaching change they’ve settled down and have produced some good victories but they are still battling to make sure they finish in the top eight at the end of the season and make the play-offs and in their last two games they conceded nine against Nottingham before scoring seven against Fife.
“They’ve had some inconsistent results throughout the season but they gave us two tough games at the Odyssey Arena and this will be a big battle this weekend both home and away.
“They have a lot of guys who can produce bug offensive numbers and a different goaltender than they had when we last faced them so we’ll be looking to get a lot of shots on him early.”
With room for manoeuvre at the top of the standings the Giants could be forgiven for showing a little complacency or only worrying about winning their home games but that’s not the mentality from this experienced locker room.
Shields added, “I don’t think anyone in our locker room is satisfied with where we’re at. We’ve won nothing and we know there is still work to do.”
“lthough if you’d asked any of the guys at the start of the season they’d have taken this situation we find ourselves in. But we aren’t looking back at any of the losses, we’re just looking ahead to the next game coming up and that’s what is important. We’re not looking to split games at the weekend, we’re just looking to get as many wins as we can and keep the other teams under pressure.”