The Belfast Giants finish off a busy holiday schedule against the Dundee Stars at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday night looking to run their current winning streak to ten games.
Thursday night’s 4-3 victory over the Nottingham Panthers put Paul Adey’s side in a dominant position in the Elite League standings with a 13 point lead on the rest of the field with 22 games remaining.
“I think you can put it down to maturity, we have a mature group of guys that have been down this road before and are willing to make those small sacrifices that are needed to win games,” explained Giants forward Evan Cheverie.
“It’s all about the two points, its not about anything else and that’s the common theme we have right now.”
With festive celebrations and distractions all around them it would be easy to take their eye of the prize at this time of the year, especially after such a good first half of the season, but the players have been focused and kept their foot on the throttle.
They trailed second place Braehead 5-4 going into the third period of their road game last weekend, twenty-four hours after beating the Scottish side at home.
They could have mailed in that game, still had a massive lead and no one would have batted an eyelid.
But this team came out, scored twice in the final twenty minutes, and skated away with a 6-5 win.
In the game against the Panthers they coughed up leads of 2-0 and 3-2 but still found a way to score a late winner and grab the two points even if they weren’t at their best.
Cheverie continued, “We have guys contributing in all areas.
“A guy like Craig Peacock who maybe has limited ice time ends up getting two big goals against Nottingham and it just seems to come in waves, if it isn’t one line, then its another line who picks it up so we have team depth and I think the coach is using that depth really well.”
Cheverie has found incredible chemistry with Kevin Saurette and Chris Higgins and they’ve been the outstanding combination in recent weeks.
They will have to be at their best against a Dundee Stars line-up that are challenging for a top four finish for the first time in their Elite League history.
Cheverie added, “I think it’s mind over matter at the moment with so many games recently. I think the last time we played them away from home they made things pretty tough for us so this won’t be an easy game by any means. We’re not looking ahead past these guys because we know it will be a battle.”