Preston fired up for Giants’ cup challenge

Quinn Preston says the Belfast Giants are eager to get back to Coventry to play the Blaze tonight for the first leg of the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
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He explained that he feels that the Giants were unlucky not to come away from last Saturday’s game with a win and all the points, so they will be looking to settle a few scores and dominate in the quarter finals.

“We felt we let last Saturday’s game slip, we should have won it.aid Preston.

“The penalty minutes really stopped the flow of our game. They really hindered our ability to control that game as much as we would have liked to.

Belfast Giants’ Quinn Preston with Nottingham Panthers’ Tyler Welsh during Friday night’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.   Photo by William Cherry/Presseye  Photo by William Cherry/PresseyeBelfast Giants’ Quinn Preston with Nottingham Panthers’ Tyler Welsh during Friday night’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.   Photo by William Cherry/Presseye  Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Belfast Giants’ Quinn Preston with Nottingham Panthers’ Tyler Welsh during Friday night’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

“We are looking forward to getting back to Coventry on Wednesday and aiming to stay out of the box more.

“If we can keep our discipline in that game we will be able to control it more. That will allow us to play our game. When we get to play it we are hard to beat.”

Preston says that the Giants will want to stamp their authority on the cup quarter final from the start.

He said: “We know that we play well in our own building, so to get the advantage against Coventry by winning the first leg will be important.

“Coming out on top of that game will give us that advantage moving forward.

“As Keefer has said in the past, there is a trophy on the line here and that will be a huge motivator for the squad.

“The game is like the playoffs but in the middle of the season, you have to step your game up just that little extra. That little bit more compete is always good.”

Coming out quick against the Blaze will be crucial, explained Preston as it will allow the Giants to dominate.

“We will be focused on getting more shots on their goal,” said Preston. “At the beginning of the year we were having more success but it's been difficult the last while. But that has been improving lately.

“If we can focus on that and can come out, attacking from the start will benefit us.

“With the game being an aggregate one, it's all about scoring as many goals as possible.

“You don’t like to leave yourself too much of a gap to chase. Chasing from behind makes things a lot harder.”

The Giants will be without veteran forward Ben Lake for the Challenge Cup quarter final after he was handed a two game suspension for spearing.

Lake will also miss the first game in the double header against the Manchester Storm this weekend. Lake had just returned from injury when he received the suspension.

A DOPs statement said: “On Saturday night at the Skydome, Giants forward Ben Lake was penalised with a major and game misconduct for spearing Blaze forward Ian McNulty. As the video shows, during a stoppage of play due to a minor penalty being assessed, and with players heading towards the benches, McNulty engages Lake who turns around, pulls back his stick and drives the blade of his stick into McNulty with a stabbing motion, causing McNulty to fall to the ice. This is spearing.”

Tonight’s game in Coventry has a faceoff time of 7pm. The home leg at the SSE Arena is next Wednesday (December 20th ).

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