Group E of the Continental Cup involves Belfast Giants as Challenge Cup winners, GKS Katowice as Polish league runner-ups, Ritten Sport who won group B before and qualified as IHL-Elite champions. The Bears are there as Croatian League Champions.
With the format of the Continental Cup, three times qualified into final group directly and Ritten Sport won in the group involving Jesenice, MAC Budapest and Crvena Zvezda.
First, two teams from their current group qualify into the final, playing against two teams from the Group D which has Arlan Kokshetau as Kazakhstan Hockey Champions, HK Gomel as Belarusian Cup winners, Lyon Lions as Coupe de France winners and Kurbads Riga as Latvian Hockey Higher League champions.
Belfast Giants currently on top of Erhardt Conference and the league as a whole with 30 points in 19 matches with 13 regulation wins and 2 overtime and shootout wins.
In the Challenge Cup in 6 matches they are a top of Group B with 10 points.
Their scoring leaders in the league are winger Blair Riley who has 26 points in 19 matches, winger David Rutherford with 25 points in 19 matches. Three players are tied for the same amount of points of 22. Kyle Baun who is also tied with Riley for 12 goals as team-high, Darcy Murphy and Patrick Dwyer, all wingers.
In the EIHL Cup, American Patrick Dwyer leads the way with 10 points in 6 matches, followed by Kyle Baun from Canada with 7 points. Canadian trio of Darcy Murphy, Jim Vandermeer and Jonathan Ferland are tied with 5 points for third place.
In net in the league, they rely on Tyler Beskorowany from Canada who appeared in 17 matches. During them, he has 1.67 goals against average and 94% save percentage. In the EIHL Cup Tyler Beskorowany and Stephen Murphy from Scotland, each has 3 starts. The Canadian has 2.33 goals against average and 91.1% save percentage while the Scot has 2.36 goals against average and 90.1% save percentage.
THE bears players
In the EIHL Belfast Giants scored 77 times in 19 matches while they conceded 38 times while in the Challenge Cup they celebrated goal 23 times compared to 15 conceded ones.
The Giants also currently are on a 7-game winning streak in the league. At home, they only lost one out of 6 matches.
During the special teams, Belfast Giants convert on 30.59% of their chances and kill off 83.33% of the penalties against them. In the Cup, their efficiency on the powerplay is lower with 18.18% but with 85.71% on the power kill their rate is higher.
Their overall scoring efficiency in the league is at 10.5% while in the Cup it is 9.9%.
THE BEARS TEAM STUFF
The match will be special for the Canadian centre Sébastien Sylvestre who spent the last year with the Belfast Giants. In the EIHL in 54 matches, he had 72 points in the regular season, adding another 3 in just 2 playoff matches. In the Challenge Cup, he had 16 points in 10 matches helping the Giants win it.
The Bears are up for a challenge in the Continental Cup! Every team will be motivated, and the schedule is relentless to all. Join the Bears on their journey in Northern Ireland and let’s support them together!