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Piccinich: ‘We have a reputation for scoring fast’

JJ Piccinich has admitted that the Giants have gained a reputation for scoring early goals this season.

Belfast Giants’ JJ Piccinich scoring against the Cardiff Devils during last Friday’s Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena
Belfast Giants’ JJ Piccinich scoring against the Cardiff Devils during last Friday’s Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena

In the first game of the double-header he found the back of Carruth’s net after a mere 15 seconds.

He says: “I think that’s probably my second goal that I have scored within the opening 20 seconds of a game this year.

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“I think I also had such a goal against the Panthers in Nottingham too, if my mind is right it was within 10 seconds.”

Belfast Giants' Sam Ruopp drops the gloves with Cardiff Devils' Sam Duggan during the recent Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast

He adds: “Obviously the first shift of every game is important, you are looking to score right from the start.

“It’s important to get ahead and into a game by scoring.

“For whatever reason this year we have had three games were we have scored within the first 20 seconds.

He added: “Whatever we are doing right in that way, we need to keep doing, right?”

Belfast Giants' Jordan Boucher with Cardiff Devils' Sam Duggan and Josh Batch

Reflecting on the double-header against the Devils Piccinich said that they have to find the positives.

“In total I thought last weekend went well for us,” he explained.

“We were able to get three out of the four points which were available, so that was one point more than Cardiff.

“When you finish the weekend up by taking points of the Devils it has been a good weekend. It is good news for the standings for sure.

Belfast Giants' Slater Doggett celebrates scoring against the Cardiff Devils

“I personally thought we could have scored more goals, but what are you going to do?”

The goal after 15 seconds caught the Devils on the hop.

“We really caught them on the heels with the speed at which we came out in that game.

“They certainly didn’t have the start that they wanted and we were eager to ensure that they didn’t get into the game and settle down.

“We were able to capitalise on some lackadaisical play from them.

“But after that first period frustratingly Cardiff really played well and got themselves back into the game.

“It was so important to get those goals in the opening period as in all it was the deciding factor of the win that night.

“In the second period they found a second gear for sure. They were able to facilitate the puck.

“Certainly in the third period they controlled much of the play.

“To their credit they really worked hard and got themselves back into the game.”