Offensive duo share BIH Player of the Week award

(PHOTOS: Derek Black & William Cherry/Press Eye)

Dundee Stars forward François Bouchard and David Rutherford of Belfast Giants have jointly won the British Ice Hockey Player of the Week award.

Both players picked up 36% of the vote, beating off competition from Gleason Fournier, the Cardiff Devils defenceman and Manchester Storm goalie Matt Ginn.

Although the poll, which was run on Twitter declared Rutherford the winner, without exact figures to determine the number of votes cast, it was decided both players should share the honour.

For Bouchard, it capped off an excellent week where he scored five goals in three games that saw Dundee Stars equal a club record of six straight Elite League wins.

“The team is playing really well and we’ve been having a good run,” he said. “It’s always good if you can produce against Belfast and Sheffield so it was a good weekend.

“The loss on Sunday was a tough one for us, but we got to winning six in a row the night before.  But we won’t look back on it too much and we can do good things again.

“At the beginning of the year, we weren’t getting the bounces in overtime and as a group, we were strong mentally and I think we’re getting what we deserve now.

“It’s nice to be in the play-off spots just now and it’s been nice to see the coach smiling.  ‘Pach’ deserves a lot of credit and we all enjoy playing for him.  I hope we can keep playing that way.”

Rutherford, the other winner of this week’s vote, helped the Giants maintain their place at the top of the Elite League with wins against Guildford Flames and Cardiff Devils.

They bounced back well from their midweek 6-4 defeat against Dundee Stars, their second in a row, to take four points.

Rutherford scored the winning penalty shot that confirmed the result over Andrew Lord’s side as well as picked up four assists in a good week for his team.

And he was coy when it came to revealing how he kept a cool head for the penalty shot that proved so crucial.

“I almost don’t want to tell about how I dealt with that moment in the shootout,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of them in the past against ‘Bownsy’ in Cardiff so I kind of knew what I wanted to do.

“Everyone loves a shootout and they’re a lot of fun.  That was our first of the season and we knew it would go either way.

“We were confident having ‘Besko’ that we could get that extra point, but getting those two wins were huge.

“We knew we had to be good in Guildford on Saturday and it was good to get back rolling again after losing in Dundee on Wednesday.”

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