The Stena Line Belfast Giants return to home ice on Saturday for their biggest game of the season so far, against the Sheffield Steelers (face-off 7pm).
The game will also represent the Giants first home game in almost one month and defenceman Jim Vandermeer is looking forward to playing in front of the Belfast crowd once again,
“We’ve been practicing in Dundonald and on the road for the last month. We have such a beautiful rink and a great room - to not be using it is a shame so it will definitely be good to get back playing in front of our fans,” he said.
The Sheffield Steelers come to Belfast in red hot form, having won back-to-back games against their rivals, the Nottingham Panthers, and scoring 11 goals in the process.
The Giants themselves have been on the end of two 5-1 losses in Sheffield this season and, although the scorelines did not reflect the game, Saturday offers the Belfast side a chance to gain revenge for those results,
“When we have played them, I think we’ve played really well,” added Vandermeer.
“We have had a couple of lapses five minutes long when it seemed like they scored on every chance they got. We need to tighten up and keep playing hard - that gives us the best chance.”
After a long period of time on the road, Saturday’s home game against Sheffield begins a run of ten games at the SSE Arena inside four weeks and 14 games overall - a run that Vandermeer is clearly looking forward to,
“You are always playing games, so you are always in game mode. There is no time to overthink things,” he said.
“I’d much prefer to play a bunch of games in a row. I believe we can get into a rhythm and I hope that happens.”
Tickets for the game are now on sale online through Ticketmaster as well as from the Arena Box Office in person or by calling 028 9073 9074.