Murphy hails “best in the league” Besko

Stephen Murphy will mark ten years at Belfast Giants with his testimonial tonight (PHOTO: Tony Sargent)

Belfast Giants netminder Stephen Murphy has hailed team-mate Tyler Beskorowany as “the best in the league” ahead of the Scot’s testimonial on Tuesday.

Giants past and present will take to the SSE Arena ice to mark Murphy’s decade with the club in what’s expected to be a memorable occasion.

And the Scot, who has played the role of backup for Adam Keefe’s side, admits he’s more than happy to let his team-mate get the ice time instead of him.

“If Tyler’s not the best goalie in the league, he’s certainly one of them,” Murphy said. “In my opinion, he’s the best in the league and I’m happy to sit as backup to him.

“He’s done such a great job and a big reason why we’re sitting where we are in the league and challenging for the title.

“I’m happy to do whatever it takes to make this team successful and if it means I’m there as a backup then I’m fine with that.  I’ll be there when called upon.”

A dinner and draft night took place on Monday with the game itself set to take centre stage, featurning former Giants such as Matt Nickerson, Kevin Saurette and Paxton Schulte all returning.

And Murphy can’t believe his ten years have flown by after he signed from Manchester Phoenix in May 2009, winning two Elite League titles among other honours.

He added: “I’m really thankful for everybody who’s coming over and those who can’t, but have sent messages over.  I know they wanted to be here,

“I can’t believe the last decade has gone so quickly.  I certainly didn’t expect that when I went there, but I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.

Tyler Beskorowany is the “best in the league” according to team-mate Stephen Murphy (PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

“My wife and son are there and it’s home now and I feel really proud to have been there and achieved what I have.

“We’ve had some big highs and some lows, but to me, it’s been a pretty good team for the last ten years and more now in the Giants history.

“The reputation the team has and the city is what we represent and it means a lot to the fans and we thrive on that.

“Some of the former players have already arrived and are already having a great time in Belfast. I know those guys are excited to be back and there were some who couldn’t make it, but would have loved to have been involved.”

Murphy says he’s looking forward to the game and reckons he might be nervous, but prefers to look at it as a celebration of the team and their accomplishments during his time in Northern Ireland.

He said: “It’s getting closer and closer and maybe I’ll be nervous on the night, but I’m looking at it more like a celebration of the players I’ve played with as well as myself.

“’Sheds’ (Colin Shields) laid the blueprint down on what to expect when he had his testimonial last year and it was an honour to be part of that also.

“There will be focus on me of course, but I just want to enjoy the night and have a bit of fun.”

Stephen Murphy’s Testimonial begins at 7pm at the SSE Arena in Belfast.  Further information can be found via the Belfast Giants website.

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