Belfast Take the EIHL

 

The Belfast Giants knew that a win in either of this weekends games against current champions Sheffield would mean the Elite League title would be staying with them. The weight of expectation had brought in a massive crowd over 7000 to the Odyssey as the Giants bid for their first league title in 6 years.

It was an end-to-end first period in which the Giants thought they had the momentum in after Dowd and Pelle had given them the lead. But a penalty shot save by Steelers goalie John De Caro and a Jeff Legue goal meant the Steelers were in the game and with the momentum going into the second.

Second period also started evenly but with 6 minutes to go a powerplay chance fell for Clark and the 2-goal lead was restored and the confidence was with the home side. The third period started well for the Giants as Paul Deniset increased the lead on the powerplay to ensure a memorable St Patricks weekend in Belfast. The icing on the cake came 2 minutes from time as Rebek netted.

The two points mean that the Belfast Giants are the 2012 Elite League champions and take the trophy from the Sheffield Steelers. It is the first time since 2006 that the team from Northern Ireland have won the league title and marks a first trophy for coach Doug Christiansen who was a runner up last year.

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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