After a month on the road the Belfast Giants finally get back on Odyssey Arena ice on Saturday night when they face the Edinburgh Capitals.
Paul Adey’s side went 6-2 during the eight game stretch, a record that they probably would have settled for, and they hold a five-point lead at the top of the Elite League standings.
However, the 8-3 defeat to the Nottingham Panthers on Tuesday night was a disappointing way to finish it off and with nine of the next 11 games at home over a busy holiday period, the comforts of familiar surroundings can’t come quick enough.
“I think when you looked at our schedule and the eight games we had on the road and to come out of them on top of the league we’d have all been happy with that,“ explained Adey.
“But obviously we’re disappointed with the loss in Nottingham.
“You never want to lose a game by that many goals and just on the night things didn’t go our way, the bounces went their way and some of the calls also went their way but we know we can play better than that, it wasn’t our best game that’s for sure.”
The other defeat on the road trip came at the hands of the Capitals and so the Giants know that they can’t take anything for granted against a side that have shown big improvements in recent weeks.
“We played Edinburgh at home on the opening night of the season and I thought we outplayed them by a mile but it turned out to be a close game as their goalie played really well and the same thing happened in Edinburgh,” Adey added.
“I thought once again we played better than they did but their goalie played well again and we didn’t finish our chances when we had the opportunities.
“We were up a goal in the second period and had four great scoring chances that we failed to put the puck in the net so we left the door open and they scored on the powerplay and that gave them confidence and we then took too many penalties and that gave them the confidence to come back.”
Adey added: “We know we have to come out and play a game that we can be proud off.
“They have won five of their last seven so we know it won’t be easy.
“But with so many home games coming up we know that if we can give it an extra push we can make it tough on the teams that are chasing us.”