THE top two teams in the Elite League clash in a doubleheader at the Odyssey Arena on Friday and Saturday in what promises to be a treat for ice hockey fans.
While the Belfast Giants were occupied with Continental Cup duty in Germany last weekend the Sheffield Steelers moved above them in the standings and hold a one-point lead.
However Doug Christiansen’s side have three games in hand and know there’s an opportunity to establish themselves as favourites to defend their league title.
“We’re playing a team that has won four games in a row and is ahead of us in the standings but with three games in hand we can really put ourselves into a decent position if we can have success this weekend,” he said.
“But Sheffield is a good team, they have an excellent defensive corps and a big forward group and they match up well against us but I think we also match up well against them too.”
In the home town team’s line-up tonight will be defenceman Jeff Mason who resigned with the club this week.
Mason played the past two seasons with the Giants and was the Elite League’s leading scoring defenceman in the championship winning campaign before he moved on but became available after he left his club in Norway.
Christiansen added, “Jeff is a proven player in the league. He competes daily in practice and games. He has great speed and has a knack for scoring big goals. There is no doubt that Jeff Mason makes us a better team.
“I am very pleased with our team and did not expect to add a player like Mason but his availability was something I could not ignore.”