Giants Legends Return For Rob Stewartâ€™s Testimonial
The Stena Line Belfast Giants will take to the Odyssey Arena ice to face the Belfast Giants Legends for Rob Stewart’s Testimonial Game on Tuesday 18th February and Stewart has announced the beginnings to his All-Star roster, with Paxton Schulte, Kevin Riehl, Steve Thornton and Dave Whistle all returning for the big game.
Kevin RiehlÂ was the top centreman for the Belfast Giants from 2000-2003. Riehl’s best season with the Belfast organisation was 2001/02 when he centered a line of Jason Ruff and Sean Berens as the Giants dominated UK ice hockey to win the Superleague for the first ever time. In his third and final season with the Giants Riehl scored his most important goal for the team – a penalty shootout winner in the playoff semi-final against Sheffield to take the Giants to the final which they won the following day. Riehl returns for Stewart’s Testimonial thanks to Kingdom of the Giants/A View From The Bridge Podcast who raised the money to fly him back to Belfast.
Dave Whistle, Giants Head Coach from 2000 to 2003 remains the only coach of the organisation to have won both the playoff title and the league title. Whistle was a champion coach with the Bracknell Bees in 1999/00 and was snapped up by the Belfast Giants in 2000 – the Superleague’s newest franchise. Dave Whistle brought plenty of his league winning Bracknell team with him to Belfast including current General Manager Todd Kelman and Rob Stewart.
Paxton Schulte and Rob Stewart won a Super League title together with the Bracknell Bees in the 1999-2000 season before both moving to Belfast as part of the original Giants under coach Dave Whistle. Both players went on to win another Super League title with the Giants in the 2001-2002 season and then a playoff championship in 2003. Schulte played in the inaugural season of the Elite League in 2003-2004 before retiring from the Giants.Â Paxton Schulte is arguably the most popular Giant in history and was the face of the organisation during the first four seasons. At the time of his retirement, he was the leading goal scorer in franchise history and remains the all-time leader in penalty minutes for the Giants. Schulte, like Kevin Riehl, returns for Stewart’s Testimonial thanks to the fans of Kingdom of the Giants and A View From The Bridge Podcast.
Steve Thornton became the Giants fifth ever Head Coach in 2008 after playing for the team in the 2002/03 season helping them to the Playoff Championship, a trophy he won as Coach in 2010 as well as the Challenge Cup and Knockout Cup in 2008. In the 2009/10 Season,Â Thornton’s Giants finished second in the Elite League by a single point before going on to become the second ever coach, alongside Dave Whistle, to win the Playoff Championship.
Fans can purchase tickets from the Odyssey Arena Box Office in person, by calling (028) 9073 9074 or online at Ticketmaster.