On the day before the League Champion Coventry Blaze and the Playoff Champion Belfast Giants face off in the Charity Shield, the coaches of the two teams have made their first official selections to the All-Star Team that will play the Boston Bruins on Saturday, 2 October in Belfast.
Coventry Blaze forward Luke Fulghum and defenceman Jonathan Weaver will join forces with Giants Captain Colin Shields and defenceman Jon Gleed to take on the Bruins in October as part of the Giants Elite league Selects squad, a team made up of the best players from around the UK Elite League.
Fulghum led all goal scorers last season in the Elite League, scoring an incredible 54 goals in 65 games, leading his team in scoring with 92 points in his first season with the Blaze.
Teammate Jonathan Weaver once again led all defencemen in the league in scoring with 77 points in 65 games. He was picked as the defenceman of the year for the third season in a row and also wore the Captain’s ‘C’ for the GB National Team at the World Championships.
Fellow GB Star Colin Shields led the league in overall points last season with 106 points, including 39 goals in 68 games and captained the Giants to the Playoff Championship in April 2010. Joining Shields from Belfast will be newest Giant
Jon Gleed, who is expected to make an immediate impact throughout the Elite League. Gleed is coming off a stellar season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the American Hockey League where he played the past two seasons. A defensive defenceman, he is already expected to be a leader for the Giants defensive unit and will be a valuable asset when facing the high flying forwards from the Bruins.
GB National Team and Coventry Blaze Coach Paul Thompson believes all four of these players are suited to face off against the Bruins.
“Make no mistakes about this, the Bruins are bringing the real deal to Belfast in October. We want to ensure the guys we select can skate at the NHL level and can handle the size and skill that the Bruins players will have. The Bruins are some of the best athletes in the world, and our guys will need to be at their best, and we need the best from the entire league. My guys will be ready and I am confident that we can put together a competitive squad to face off with the Bruins in October.”
Giants coach Doug Christiansen is looking forward to the Bruins event and the lineup the league are putting together.
“Myself, Paul and Gerad Adams (Cardiff) are batting around ideas and player names and the prospects are exciting. We don’t have much time to see all the league players and there are some obvious choices and some players that will play themselves onto this team during the first couple of weeks. Our job is to put together the best team to face the Bruins and we need to take the individual strengths of each potential player and make sure they fit into our plans for this game.”
The Boston Bruins match against the Elite League All-Stars takes place on Saturday 2 October in Belfast. Tickets are available starting at £40.50. Book your seats now by logging onto www.ticketmaster.ie or www.belfastgiants.com
Or by calling the Odyssey Box Office on (028) 9073 9074 or Ticketmaster on 0844 2774455.