Belfast Giants

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Belfast Giants
BelfastGiantsLogo.jpg
City Belfast, Northern Ireland
League Elite Ice Hockey League
Founded 2000
Home arena SSE Arena Belfast
Colours

White, red & teal

              
Owner(s) Odyssey Trust
Head coach Canada Adam Keefe
Captain Canada Blair Riley
Website www.belfastgiants.com
Franchise history
2000–present Belfast Giants
Championships
Regular season titles 2001–02, 2005–06, 2011–12, 2013-14
Playoff championships 2003, 2010
Knockout Cups 2008–09
Challenge Cups 2008–09, 2017-18

The Belfast Giants are an ice hockey team from Belfast, Northern Ireland that compete in the Elite Ice Hockey League. Home games are played at the 9,000-capacity SSE Arena Belfast.

They have a dedicated 'Boomerang Corner' which sits a large group of fans who generate noise and start most of the chants. It is named in memory of long time Giants fan Stewart Boone.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The Giants had originated in 2000 and played their first match against Ayr on the 1st 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.

Team culture[edit]

With an average attendance of around 4,744, the Giants are one of twelve Elite league ice hockey squads in the UK. They are the 2nd best supported team in the UK and 67th in Europe.[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)
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 and Subman (Sponsorship Deal with Subway)
Motto: "In the land of the Giants, everyone is equal".

2018–19 roster[edit]

Last Updated: 6 June 2018

Netminders[3]
Number Player Place/Date of Birth Catches Acquired Joined from
34 Tyler Beskorowany[4] Canada Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
(1990-04-28) 28 April 1990 (age 28)
L 2018 Edinburgh Capitals (EIHL)
31 Stephen Murphy[5] Scotland Dundee, Scotland
(1981-12-11) 11 December 1981 (age 36)
L 2009 Manchester Phoenix (EIHL)
33 Chris Truehl[6] United States Stoughton, Wisconsin, USA
(1993-10-27) 27 October 1993 (age 24)
L 2017 Quinnipiac University Bobcats (NCAA)
35 Andrew Dickson[7] Northern Ireland Ballymoney, Northern Ireland
(1987-11-02) 2 November 1987 (age 30)
L 2011 Invicta Dynamos (ENL)
Defence[3]
Number Player Place/Date of Birth Shoots Acquired Joined from
3 Jeff Mason[8] United States Easthampton, Massachusetts, USA
(1981-08-11) 11 August 1981 (age 36)
R 2012 Lillehammer IK (GET-ligaen)
9 Jim Vandermeer[9] Canada Caroline, Alberta, Canada
(1980-02-21) 21 February 1980 (age 38)
L 2016 Kloten Flyers (NLA)
88 Ryan Martinelli[10] Canada London, Ontario, Canada
(1986-09-02) 2 September 1986 (age 31)
R 2016 Alba Volán Székesfehérvár (EBEL)
7 Mark Garside[11] Scotland East Kilbride, Scotland
(1989-03-21) 21 March 1989 (age 29)
L 2010 Edinburgh Capitals (EIHL)
2 Cole Jarrett[12] A Canada Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
(1983-01-04) 4 January 1983 (age 35)
L 2017 Tohoku Free Blades (ALIH)
22 Kevin Raine[13] Canada Dryden, Ontario, Canada
(1993-05-28) 28 May 1993 (age 25)
R 2017 Florida Everblades (ECHL)
6 Spiro Goulakos[14] Canada Montreal, Quebec, Canada
(1990-02-16) 16 February 1990 (age 28)
L 2017 Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL)
23 Paul Swindlehurst[15] England Blackrod, England
(1993-05-25) 25 May 1993 (age 25)
L 2018 Manchester Storm (EIHL)

elfastgiants.com |date=2013-11-21

Forwards[3]
Number Player Place/Date of Birth Shoots Position Acquired Joined from
26 Brandon Benedict[16] Canada Halifax, NS, Canada
(1982-06-10) 10 June 1982 (age 36)
L C 2015 Nottingham Panthers (EIHL)
12 Steve Saviano[17] A United States Reading, MA, USA
(1981-08-31) 31 August 1981 (age 36)
L LW 2016 HC Bolzano (EBEL)
25 Blair Riley[18] C Canada Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
(1985-11-01) 1 November 1985 (age 32)
L LW 2016 Stockton Heat (AHL)
19 Colin Shields[19] A Scotland Glasgow, Scotland
(1980-01-27) 27 January 1980 (age 38)
R C 2008 Newcastle Vipers (EIHL)
74 Matt Towe[20] England Sheffield, England
(1988-01-07) 7 January 1988 (age 30)
R F 2016 Guildford Flames (EPIHL)
91 David Rutherford[21] Canada Ladner, British Columbia, Canada
(1987-04-30) 30 April 1987 (age 31)
R RW 2016 Edinburgh Capitals (EIHL)
15 Darcy Murphy[22] Canada Marysville, Ontario, Canada
(1992-08-24) 24 August 1992 (age 25)
L LW 2017 Tulsa Oilers (ECHL)
24 Jonathan Ferland[23] A Canada Sainte-Marie, Quebec, Canada
(1983-02-09) 9 February 1983 (age 35)
R RW 2017 Vienna Capitals (EBEL)
10 Sébastien Sylvestre[24] Canada Boucherville, Quebec, Canada
(1993-10-07) 7 October 1993 (age 24)
L C 2017 Elmira Jackals (ECHL)
83 Dustin Johner[25] Canada Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada
(1983-03-06) 6 March 1983 (age 35)
R C/RW 2017 EC VSV (EBEL)
21 John Kurtz[26] Canada Oakville, Ontario, Canada
(1989-05-16) 16 May 1989 (age 29)
L LW 2017 Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
8 Lewis Hook[27] England Peterborough, England
(1996-08-18) 18 August 1996 (age 21)
L LW 2018 Milton Keynes Lightning (EIHL)

Retired jersey numbers[edit]

Former players[edit]

Captains[edit]

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

Head coaches[edit]

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

2009-2010

2010-2011

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2017–18

  • EIHL Challenge Cup Champions

References[edit]

  1. ^ Giants on the rocks, BBC Sport, 22 June 2003. Retrieved 30 June 2012
  2. ^ IIHF (2015-03-12). "Attendance 2014-2015". Iihf.com. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  3. ^ a b c "2013/14 Roster". Belfast Giants. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Tyler Beskorowany". Belfastgiants.com. 2018-06-01. Retrieved 2018-06-06. 
  5. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Stephen Murphy". Belfastgiants.com. 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2014-04-28. 
  6. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Chris Truehl". Belfastgiants.com. 2017-11-06. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  7. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Andrew Dickson". Belfastgiants.com. 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2014-04-28. 
  8. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Jeff Mason". Belfastgiants.com. 2017-09-30. Retrieved 2017-09-30. 
  9. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Jim Vandemeer". Belfastgiants.com. 2016-08-24. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  10. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Ryan Martinelli". Belfastgiants.com. 2016-08-24. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  11. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Mark Garside". Belfastgiants.com. 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2014-04-28. 
  12. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Cole Jarrett". Belfastgiants.com. 2017-07-26. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  13. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Kevin Raine". Belfastgiants.com. 2017-07-27. Retrieved 2017-07-27. 
  14. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Spiro Goulakos". Belfastgiants.com. 2017-08-12. Retrieved 2017-08-12. 
  15. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Paul Swindlehurst". Belfastgiants.com. 2018-06-05. Retrieved 2018-06-06. 
  16. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Brandon Benedict". Belfastgiants.com. 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2015-02-05. 
  17. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Steve Saviano". Belfastgiants.com. 2016-08-24. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  18. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Blair Riley". Belfastgiants.com. 2016-08-24. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  19. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Colin Shields". Belfastgiants.com. 2016-08-24. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  20. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Matt Towe". Belfastgiants.com. 2016-09-01. Retrieved 2016-09-01. 
  21. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » David Rutherford". Belfastgiants.com. 2017-11-20. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  22. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Darcy Murphy". Belfastgiants.com. 2017-07-11. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  23. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Jonathan Ferland". Belfastgiants.com. 2017-07-12. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  24. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Sébastien Sylvestre". Belfastgiants.com. 2017-07-12. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  25. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Dustin Johner". Belfastgiants.com. 2017-07-20. Retrieved 2017-07-20. 
  26. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » John Kurtz". Belfastgiants.com. 2017-08-30. Retrieved 2017-08-30. 
  27. ^ "Stena Line Belfast Giants » Lewis Hook". Belfastgiants.com. 2018-05-14. Retrieved 2018-05-23. 

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