Roach is making right impact since his return to the Belfast Giants

Belfast Giants offensive defenceman Josh Roach has had quite an impact in the last month since he returned from long-term injury to help bolster the Giant’s campaign.
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And that impact was recognised last week when it was announced that he’s had been selected by the fans as their player of the month for January.

Roach admits up to last month he had experienced personally challenging year, having to spend much of it recovering from a bad injury which had been carried over from last season.

He said: “It was a long road to recovery but I am delighted to be back on the ice with the squad and contributing in anyway that I can.

Belfast Giants’ Josh Roach celebrates scoring against the Cardiff Devils during Saturday night’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.   Photo by William Cherry/PresseyeBelfast Giants’ Josh Roach celebrates scoring against the Cardiff Devils during Saturday night’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.   Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Belfast Giants’ Josh Roach celebrates scoring against the Cardiff Devils during Saturday night’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

“I can’t thank the Giants organisations, the players and the fans, who all looked out for me and helped me on my recovery over the last few months.

“I probably wouldn’t be here without there help and being able to stay in Northern Ireland over the summer to help with my rehab.”

He added: “Starting the season on the side-line is not where a players wants to be, you want to be on the ice with everyone else.

“So yes, it was a long time coming, but it’s great that it has come full circle and that I am back on the ice now.”

Roach has been pleased with his performances in games since he returned to the Giants line-up. But he does emphasise that he is just one player in a much bigger squad.

He said: “I am an offensive defenceman, so it’s my job to create those opportunities, and when they come my way to take them too and score.

“Anytime you can get a chance to get on their scoresheet, it’s nice to see your name there. It is about contributing positively to your team’s success.

“I have been very pleased with the progression of my game and so it feels good when you can supply goals and assists.

“Equally taking care of defensive work is also important, so I am happy to be back providing that defensive support in the squad.”

Looking back to the recent double header against the Cardiff Devils, Roach says while it would have been nice to have taken all four points, that there were positives to take.

He said: “I think there are some good points to take from those two games, we made good strides and we should please about that.

“They are a good game and they game into the SSE ready to give us a game. They game to compete, so we had to be ready for them.

“There has always been an excellent rivalry between the two sides, certainly that has been the case in the last season and right down to the playoff final last season.”

He added: “We are chasing Sheffield and so are they, so we knew were going to get their best.”

Roach says that he is looking forward to this weekend’s Scottish road-trip.

He said: “I am really looking forward to it. Anytime that you can get on the road for a couple of games is nice. It allows the squad some time together and that always helps with building morale.

“We have had a good stretch of home games, so it will be nice to get on the road and play some simpler hockey.”

He admits that every game going forward counts, he said: “Every game is important, especially given how few points separates second and eighth place.

“Each game is important for us to build off what we have established in previous games and not take any steps back.”

The Giants start this weekend’s Scottish trip against the Glasgow Clan at the Braehead Arena on Saturday. The game has a faceoff time of 7pm.

On Sunday, Belfast travel up to Dundee to play the Stars at the Dundee Ice Arena. The game has a faceoff time of 5pm.