The Elite League leading Belfast Giants take on the Cardiff Devils in a home doubleheader at the Odyssey Arena this weekend starting on Saturday night and concluding on Sunday afternoon.
It could turn out to be the tale of two games with the Giants missing both Adam Keefe and Jeffrey Szwez for the first clash, depriving the home team of a lot of their toughness against one of the league’s most physical teams.
Both players will be back in the line-up for Sunday.
“It makes things a little trickier in practice because I have to change things up a little bit and put guys on different lines so that we’re ready for the game on Saturday but we’ll be okay. It will give a chance to a guy like Gareth Roberts to play some more shifts for us. It’s definitely one of those games however were we have to find a way to win,” explained coach Paul Adey.
The Giants maintained their position at the top of the standings with a come from behind win over the Nottingham Panthers last Friday before winning a Challenge Cup game in Braehead and they received a boost when the Sheffield Steelers were beaten twice and the Panthers lost to the Blaze as well.
“They were two good wins for us. Obviously taking points of Nottingham was big and then going to Braehead we played a good game and the guys performed well,” added Adey.
“If you look at it both the Sheffield and Nottingham lost but they were both beaten by Coventry who could sneak out of the pack so it shows how competitive the league is and there are a lot of good teams out there who are capable of winning the league.”
The two sides have already played each other three times this season, all in the Welsh capital, and the Giants have skated away with six points.
“It’s great to have a couple of games in a row. We have home advantage and a bigger ice surface than they’re used to and that means a different style of game,” said Adey.
Not much changes however, they’re a physical team, we know what kind of game they’ll bring and we just need to be ready for it,” said forward Craig Peacock.