Elite League preview: Giants aiming to establish lead

Belfast defender Matt Nickerson says the Giants are keen to return home with a lead when they face Manchester Storm in the first leg of their Challenge Cup quarter-final on Wednesday.

The two teams met in the Elite League on Sunday, with the Giants running out 2-1 winners and Nickerson (above) is anticipating another close encounter in their cup clash.

“We know they’re going to come out hard again – it’s a small rink so it’s going to be a physical game, but I think we’re up for it,” he told Belfast Live.

“We want to come back with at least a goal lead. When we get them back on the big sheet it’ll be the first time they’ll have come to us this year, so it’ll be interesting to see how they do on the big ice.”

Sheffield Steelers host Dundee Stars in the league aiming to bounce back from last weekend’s double disappointment against Belfast and Cardiff Devils.

The two defeats left the Steelers twelve points behind the Devils with five games in hand, and forward Robert Dowd is desperate for a victory against the Stars.

“We need to get back to winning ways right away,” he told the club’s official website.

“I think we were a little shell shocked at the weekend. We played two very good games, especially the one in Cardiff and came away with just a point – we deserved so much more than that.

“We are a confident bunch though and we will keep on playing our way. The chances we created last weekend have been converted in previous games – we will all work hard to make sure they are in the games coming up as well.

“If we keep playing the way we are then we will win a lot more games than we lose.

“We will go into the game respectful but also confident that we can pick the points up – we have to, it’s as simple as that.”

WEDNESDAY FIXTURES

Manchester Storm v Nottingham Panthers (Cup)
Nottingham Panthers v Braehead Clan (Cup)
Sheffield Steelers v Dundee Stars

(Image permission: Karl Denham)

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