Keefe unable to fault effort

As the final buzzer sounded at the end of last weekend’s game against the Nottingham Panthers Giants’ head coach Adam Keefe will have been pleased with a job well done.

Belfast Giants’ Scott Conway celebrates scoring his hat-trick against the Nottingham Panthers

The 7-2 victory of the Panthers at the SSE Arena concluded what had been a busy week for the Giants which had begun with them being narrowly defeated by the Coventry Blaze in the Skydome in the first leg of the Challenge Cup quarter final.

In the next leg at the SSE Arena in January they will be looking booking their spot in the semi-finals of the cup.

While on the previous night the Giants had secured a 3-1 victory against the 
Fife Flyers.

Speaking after the game Keefe said: “I am very proud of the effort tonight. Going into the third period, it didn’t matter what the result was or how we came out of the period, right up to that point the effort by the guys I had been very happy with.

“We told the squad that the want more and the deserve more and in the third period you could just tell that they were not going to be denied tonight.

“All-in-all the effort to a man was great, it was great to see the effort that every man on the roster put in.”

Nottingham Panthers coach Tim Wallace was modest in his reflection post match comments.

He said: “We got outworked and out battled by a team who had half the guys that we had on our bench.

“We lost 90 percent of the battles against the Giants. And then we lost our goalie Kevin Carr to injury.

“ Our replacement goalie played well for us but it was a pretty uphill battle once we lost Carr.”

Wallace concluded: “All-in-all it’s just not good enough.

One of the star players of the game against the Panthers, and there was several, was without a doubt forward Scott Conway who scored his second hat-trick of the season, and his first in front of Giants fans in Belfast.

He said: “I thought we played two full games last weekend. We were really great defensively as well as offensively.

“We definitely played more with the puck than without the puck, which is key against big teams such as the Panthers and Sheffield.

“I think we are playing well against the Panthers this season and getting plenty of goals against them. Having the puck for the majority of the game helps your scoring chances for sure.

“It was very unfortunate that their starting goal got injured during the game.

“But then we were short on guys too, but we have a strong mentality in the locker-room and their can be no excuses and every man has to step up.”

Reflecting on his hat-trick he said: “It’s my first at the SSE, I might have had a couple before I was a Giant, but that one was special for sure. Getting a hat-trick is always good no matter what.

“At the end of the day we got all four points from the weekend games and that’s all that matters to me. But the hat-trick was definitely a nice bonus for me.”