Belfast Giants dumped out of Challenge Cup

The Stena Line Belfast Giants’ Challenge Cup title defence came to a crashing end at The SSE Arena, Belfast last Wednesday night as the Coventry Blaze came from four goals down to claim a 5-4 shootout win and take the 6-5 aggregate victory in their quarter-final.
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After a 1-1 tie in the first leg in the SkyDome, it was a winner-takes-all clash and the Giants looked to be on for the win as a double from Henrik Eriksson and further goals from Ara Nazarian and Quinn Preston had them four to the good, but the Blaze stormed back in the third period to claim the win, J D Dudek grabbing the winner in the shootout.

Speaking after being dumped out of the Challene Cup, Giants head coach said: “For 45 minutes I thought it was great, we switched off for 15 minutes and it cost us a hockey game.

“We've talked a lot this year about giving teams life and not switching off and that’s what happened.”

Belfast Giants’ Daniel Tedesco during Wednesday nights Challenge Cup Quarterfinal against the Coventry Blaze at the SSE Arena, Belfast.      Photo by William Cherry/PresseyeBelfast Giants’ Daniel Tedesco during Wednesday nights Challenge Cup Quarterfinal against the Coventry Blaze at the SSE Arena, Belfast.      Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Belfast Giants’ Daniel Tedesco during Wednesday nights Challenge Cup Quarterfinal against the Coventry Blaze at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

He added: “We cheat the game and things like that can happen. It happened tonight and I’d love to say it’ll be a learning lesson, but we're in the middle of December here so it’s a tough one to take.”

He concluded: “We had one of best games in the last seven weeks for 45 minutes and then we got ahead of ourselves, the game fell apart and credit to Coventry for never quitting.

“They kept coming, it gave them belief, they never looked back and we’re out of the Challenge Cup.”

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