Belfast Giants

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Belfast Giants
BelfastGiantsLogo.jpg
CityBelfast, Northern Ireland
LeagueElite Ice Hockey League
Founded2000
Home arenaSSE Arena Belfast
ColoursWhite, red & teal               
Owner(s)Odyssey Trust
Head coachAdam Keefe
CaptainBlair Riley
Websitewww.belfastgiants.com
Franchise history
2000–presentBelfast Giants
Championships
Regular season titles2001–02, 2005–06, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2018-19
Playoff championships2003, 2010
Knockout Cups2008–09
Challenge Cups2008–09, 2017–18, 2018-19

The Belfast Giants are an ice hockey team from Belfast, Northern Ireland that compete in the Elite Ice Hockey League. As of the 2018-19 season, they are the current Elite League Champions and Challenge Cup winners. Their main sponsor is Stena Line and home games are played at the SSE Arena Belfast.

The Giants have currently won 11 major honours, including five league championship titles, as well as three Erhardt Conference titles.

History[edit]

The Giants had originated in 2000 and played their first match against Ayr on 1 December. Initially members of the now defunct Superleague, the Giants won the championship in 2001–02 and were play-off champions in 2002–03. With the Superleague's demise, there were concerns that the Giants would not survive because of major financial problems which had developed. Running up debts of £600,000 and facing the threat of liquidation creditors voted to accept 20p in the pound allowing the club to continue. One company was believed to be owed nearly £65,000.[1]

However, with the creation of the new Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) for the 2003–04 season, the Giants survived. The Giants finished 4th in the league's first season, but failed to reach the post-season play-offs..

The Giants finished runners up in the 2004–05 season behind the Coventry Blaze but were winners of the Cross-over League Cup, which was played with teams from the BNL.

In 2005, The Giants unveiled NHL All-Star and Olympic Gold Medal winner, Theo Fleury who made his debut against the Edinburgh Capitals. The Giants won 11–2, with Fleury scoring a hat-trick. With 4 additional assists and a fight, he was named man of the match.

Besides Fleury, several other players who previously played in the NHL have played for the Giants; Paul Kruse, Jason Ruff, Paxton Schulte, and Jason Bowen, Bowen and Kruse having played almost 600 games between them. Kevin Westgarth is the latest incumbent from the NHL to don the Giants jersey, arriving from the Calgary Flames after several seasons in North America's top league.

Arena[edit]

One corner of the SSE Arena is known as 'Boomerang Corner' and a large group of fans who generate noise, bang drums and start most of the chants sit there. It is named in memory of long time Giants fan Stewart Boone. Any fans are invited to watch the game from the ‘Boomerang Corner’ as this section of the stadium is not reserved seating.[citation needed]

There used to be a traditional 4 sided scoreboard suspended over centre ice, but this has been replaced by two large video screens, one behind "Boomerang Corner" and the opposite corner of the arena for scores, replays, info etc. Two traditional scoreboards are located near the other two corners.

Team culture[edit]

With an average attendance of around 4,561, the Giants are one of twelve Elite league ice hockey squads in the UK. They are the 3rd best supported team in the UK and 70th in Europe. The average attendance in the Elite Ice Hockey League is 2,678.[2]

Sectarianism had long been seen as a significant problem in some sports in Northern Ireland. When the club was established, the Belfast Giants were keen that the club not attach itself to a particular faith or community, instead wanting to represent Belfast as a whole. A number of policies were subsequently introduced to try to ensure this. Particular clothing (such as association football replica shirts), which might have displayed a person's political or religious affiliation, were banned and flags were not permitted to be brought into the arena. The national anthem of the United Kingdom, traditionally played before games at other arenas in the Elite League, is not played before Giants games. These policies have been successful and the Giants have quickly built a large and enthusiastic fanbase who did not have to fear the sectarianism that marred other sports in Northern Ireland.

Facts[edit]

Sponsors: Stena Line (Main Sponsor 2011–present) Boojum (2009–present)
Founded: 2000 into the British Ice Hockey Superleague
Primary Arena: SSE Arena Belfast, (capacity 8,000)
Training Arena: Dundonald International Ice Bowl
Uniform Colours: White, Red, Teal, Black
Logo Design: shows Finn McCool with a hockey stick.
Mascot: Finn McCool
Motto: "In the land of the Giants, everyone is equal".

2018–19 roster[edit]

Last Updated: 17 October 2018

Netminders[3]
Number Player Place/Date of Birth Catches Acquired Joined from
31 Stephen Murphy[4] Dundee, Scotland
(1981-12-11) 11 December 1981 (age 37)
L 2009 Manchester Phoenix (EIHL)
34 Tyler Beskorowany[5] Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
(1990-04-28) 28 April 1990 (age 28)
L 2018 Edinburgh Capitals (EIHL)
35 Andrew Dickson[6] Ballymoney, Northern Ireland
(1987-11-02) 2 November 1987 (age 31)
L 2011 Invicta Dynamos (ENL)
Defence[3]
Number Player Place/Date of Birth Shoots Acquired Joined from
5 Guillaume Gélinas[7] Quebec, Quebec, Canada
(1993-06-13) 13 June 1993 (age 25)
L 2018 HC '05 Banská Bystrica (Tipsport Liga)
7 Mark Garside[8] East Kilbride, Scotland
(1989-03-21) 21 March 1989 (age 30)
L 2010 Edinburgh Capitals (EIHL)
9 Jim Vandermeer[9] Caroline, Alberta, Canada
(1980-02-21) 21 February 1980 (age 39)
L 2016 Kloten Flyers (NLA)
10 Curtis Leonard[10] A Napanee, Ontario, Canada
(1992-09-23) 23 September 1992 (age 26)
L 2018 Fort Wayne Komets (ECHL)
22 Kevin Raine[11] Dryden, Ontario, Canada
(1993-05-28) 28 May 1993 (age 25)
R 2017 Florida Everblades (ECHL)
23 Paul Swindlehurst[12] Blackrod, England
(1993-05-25) 25 May 1993 (age 25)
L 2018 Manchester Storm (EIHL)
27 Kendall McFaull[13] Rosetown, Saskatchewan, Canada
(1992-04-10) 10 April 1992 (age 27)
R 2018 Saskatchewan Huskies (U Sports)
Forwards[3]
Number Player Place/Date of Birth Shoots Position Acquired Joined from
8 Lewis Hook[14] Peterborough, England
(1996-08-18) 18 August 1996 (age 22)
L LW 2018 Milton Keynes Lightning (EIHL)
12 Kyle Baun[15] Toronto, Ontario, Canada
(1992-05-04) 4 May 1992 (age 26)
R RW 2018 Toronto Marlies (AHL)
15 Darcy Murphy[16] Marysville, Ontario, Canada
(1992-08-24) 24 August 1992 (age 26)
L LW 2017 Tulsa Oilers (ECHL)
19 Colin Shields[17] A Glasgow, Scotland
(1980-01-27) 27 January 1980 (age 39)
R C 2008 Newcastle Vipers (EIHL)
21 Francis Beauvillier[18] Sorel, Quebec, Canada
(1993-10-22) 22 October 1993 (age 25)
L C/LW 2018 Manitoba Moose (AHL)
24 Jonathan Ferland[19] Sainte-Marie, Quebec, Canada
(1983-02-09) 9 February 1983 (age 36)
R RW 2017 Vienna Capitals (EBEL)
25 Blair Riley[20] C Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
(1985-11-01) 1 November 1985 (age 33)
L LW 2016 Stockton Heat (AHL)
39 Patrick Dwyer[21] Spokane, Washington, United States
(1983-06-22) 22 June 1983 (age 35)
R RW 2018 SønderjyskE Ishockey (Metal Ligaen)
61 Hunter Bishop[22] Fairbanks, Alaska, United States
(1987-09-05) 5 September 1987 (age 31)
L LW 2018 HC TWK Innsbruck (EBEL)
74 Matt Towe[23] Sheffield, England
(1988-01-07) 7 January 1988 (age 31)
R F 2016 Guildford Flames (EPIHL)
77 Josh Roach[24] Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
(1992-07-23) 23 July 1992 (age 26)
R F/D 2018 Saskatchewan Huskies (U Sports)
83 Dustin Johner[25] A Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada
(1983-03-06) 6 March 1983 (age 36)
R C/RW 2017 EC VSV (EBEL)
89 Jonathan Boxill[26] Ascot, England
(1989-04-25) 25 April 1989 (age 29)
R C 2018 Milton Keynes Lightning (EIHL)
91 David Rutherford[27] Ladner, British Columbia, Canada
(1987-04-30) 30 April 1987 (age 31)
R RW 2016 Edinburgh Capitals (EIHL)

Retired jersey numbers[edit]

Former players[edit]

Captains[edit]

Name Tenure
Jeff Hoad 2000–02
Paul Kruse 2002–03
Jason Ruff 2003–04
Shane Johnson 2004–05
George Awada 2005–09
Colin Shields 2009–11
Jeremy Rebek 2011–12
Adam Keefe 2012–17
Blair Riley 2017–

Head coaches[edit]

No. Name Tenure
1 David Whistle 2000–03
2 Rob Stewart 2003–04
3 Tony Hand 2004–05
4 Ed Courtenay 2005–08
5 Steve Thornton 2008–10
6 Doug Christiansen 2010–13
7 Paul Adey 2013–14
8 Steve Thornton 2014–15
9 Derrick Walser 2015–17
10 Adam Keefe 2017–

Franchise scoring leaders[edit]

These are the Top 10 Points Scoring Leaders for the Belfast Giants:

Note: GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points

Player POS GP G A Pts
Colin Shields C/RW 370 159 297 456
George Awada RW 376 149 187 336
Craig Peacock RW 341 140 159 299
Evan Cheverie LW 239 91 183 274
Jason Ruff LW 193 100 145 245
Todd Kelman D 418 73 141 214
Shane Johnson D 491 54 145 199
Rob Sandrock D 224 49 141 190
Ed Courtenay RW 124 58 129 187
Curtis Bowen LW 219 84 103 187

Honours[edit]

2000–01

2001–02

2002–03

2003–04

2004–05

2005–06

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2017–18

  • EIHL Challenge Cup Champions

2018–19

References[edit]

  1. ^ Giants on the rocks, BBC Sport, 22 June 2003. Retrieved 30 June 2012
  2. ^ IIHF (20 March 2018). "Attendance 2017-2018". Iihf.com. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "2013/14 Roster". Belfast Giants. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Stephen Murphy". Belfastgiants.com. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Tyler Beskorowany". Belfastgiants.com. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Andrew Dickson". Belfastgiants.com. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Guillaume Gélinas". Belfastgiants.com. 9 August 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Mark Garside". Belfastgiants.com. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Jim Vandemeer". Belfastgiants.com. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Curtis Leonard". Belfastgiants.com. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Kevin Raine". Belfastgiants.com. 16 October 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Paul Swindlehurst". Belfastgiants.com. 5 June 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Kendall McFaull". Belfastgiants.com. 18 June 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Lewis Hook". Belfastgiants.com. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Kyle Baun". Belfastgiants.com. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  16. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Darcy Murphy". Belfastgiants.com. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Colin Shields". Belfastgiants.com. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Francis Beauvillier". Belfastgiants.com. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  19. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Jonathan Ferland". Belfastgiants.com. 12 July 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  20. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Blair Riley". Belfastgiants.com. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  21. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Patrick Dwyer". Belfastgiants.com. 26 July 2018. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Hunter Bishop". Belfastgiants.com. 23 August 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  23. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Matt Towe". Belfastgiants.com. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  24. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Josh Roach". Belfastgiants.com. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  25. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Dustin Johner". Belfastgiants.com. 20 July 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  26. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Jonathan Boxill". Belfastgiants.com. 5 July 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  27. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » David Rutherford". Belfastgiants.com. 20 November 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sheffield Steelers
Superleague Champions
2001–02
Succeeded by
Sheffield Steelers
Preceded by
Sheffield Steelers
Playoff Champions
2002–03
Succeeded by
Sheffield Steelers
Preceded by
Coventry Blaze
Elite League Champions
2005–06
Succeeded by
Coventry Blaze
Preceded by
Sheffield Steelers
Playoff Champions
2009–10
Succeeded by
Nottingham Panthers
Preceded by
Nottingham Panthers
Elite League Champions
2013–14
Succeeded by
Sheffield Steelers