You have seen them on TV and everywhere else, but now you can see them here – The Giants are coming to Dundalk! This Saturday the Coors Belfast Giants will be hitting the smooth ice of the Dundalk Ice Dome where they will face off against a Dundalk Bulls/Latvian Hawks select. The last time the Giants were in Dundalk was at the start of last season were they played a select team, but unfortunately for the home side the Giants took the game into their own hands, winning by 9 goals. They also played two Elite League games a year ago at the Olympic sized venue which was packed to the rafters.
The Giants will be using this match as a pre season warm up ahead of their Elite League season which will kick off away from home on September 5th against the Nottingham Panthers. The Northern team will also take on the their rivals, the Newcastle Vipers tomorrow (Thursday) at the Dundonald Ice Bowl in another pre season match.
Head Coach for the Giants, Steve Thornton has brought in reinforcements for the up coming season including Sean Mc Morrow from Vancouver who weights a mind blowing 225 lbs and is 6ft 4’ which makes him the heaviest on the team, will be making his debut at the home of the IIHF World Championship 2007. When Thornton signed Mc Morrow he said ‘there was going to be a new Sheriff in town this season and that the Giants would definitely not be getting pushed around by anyone in the Elite League any longer.”
THE MANAGER’S VIEWS
General Manager of the Belfast Giants and former player of the team, Todd Kelman believes that the annual trip to Dundalk has become a bit of a Giant tradition, and one that he is glad to continue this season. He said “This will be our third season playing a game in the Dundalk Ice Dome and the second year in a row playing against Irish League opposition. Our fans enjoy making the short journey down to Dundalk and making a night out of it. We wanted to play two games before the season kicks off on the 5th of September and this will give the guys another chance to gel before the start of the Elite League. We believe that it is important to maintain our link with the Dundalk Bulls organization, particularly because our two junior development programs are working so closely together.”
General Manager of the Dundalk Bulls, Tony Griffin said ‘I think its great that we are getting the chance to play against the Giants again. We started this tradition last year when we combined the Hawks and Bulls up for the game and for sure we gave the Giants, what they were looking for, a good hard skate just before the season starts and we hope to do the same again this week.’
This will also be an opportunity for the Giants fans and Dundalk hockey enthusiasts alike, to have a first glance at their team who won the Elite Challenge Cup and British Knock – Out Cup during the last season and were unlucky to land a fourth place finish in the League before they play their first out of 37 league matches before Christmas, against the current League Title winners – The Sheffield Steelers.
Among the home side, it is expected that Sean Dooley, Vytas Luckoserviocus and Aigars Brencis will make an appearance on the night alongside three lines from the Hawks.
FIRST ICE HOCKEY MATCH IN IRELAND TO BE BROADCASTED ON DUNDALKFM
Irelands first Ice Hockey Match Live commentary is due to be broadcast live on DundalkFM100 this Saturday for the exhibition match. Commentators for the match will be Liam Burke and Martin Grant and will go live from 7:50pm on DundalkFM100 and www.dundalkfm.ie
The match is expected to be a sell and tickets are available from the Dundalk Ice Dome in advanced or at the door on the night. Ticket Prices – Adults €10 and Children/Students/ OAP’s – €8