Giants’ coach Keefe names captains for 2021/22

Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe has named his leadership group for the 2021/22 season, ahead of the team’s first league games this weekend.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 2:30 pm
Belfast Giant's David Goodwin has been named as captain. Picture: William Cherry/Presseye

David Goodwin has been awarded the captaincy, with Kevin Raine, Mark Garside, Ben Lake, Griffin Reinhart and Mark Cooper being named assistant captains for the season.

Kevin Raine will act as assistant captain for both home and away games.

The remainder of the AC roster will flex for home and away games with Mark Garside and Ben Lake assisting for home games and Griffin Reinhart and Mark Cooper assisting on the road.

This approach provides a strong leadership team for each game across the season.

Commenting on the announcement, Adam Keefe said: “Goody has come back to us in great shape this season and you can really see all of his hard work in the summer paying off.

“He’s a very passionate person and has great leadership qualities on and off the ice.

“The coaching staff has full confidence in Goody and the rest of the leadership group, which bring a diverse and complementary range of experience and perspectives that will guide this team back to where we want to be, at the top of the Elite League table.”

The Giants start their Premier Sports Elite Ice Hockey League campaign with two games on the road this weekend, taking on the Cardiff Devils on Saturday and Coventry Blaze on Sunday.

More on our Captains for 2021/22

David Goodwin becomes the eleventh captain in Giants history.

Returning for his second season in teal, the 29-year-old Centreman from St. Louis, Missouri is a former captain of the NCAA Big 10’s Penn State (2013-14).

Kevin Raine takes on the assistant captaincy for a second time, in what will be his fourth season with the Giants.

The 28-year-old Canadian defenceman rejoined the Giants blueline after helping the organisation to the 2018/19 Elite League championship as well as successive Challenge Cup titles in 2017/18 and 2018/19.

Stalwart Scottish defenceman, Mark Garside returns for his eleventh season in Teal.

In 2020, Garside joined an exclusive list of names who have been awarded a Testimonial match on these shores, a richly deserved celebration of East Kilbride’s most famous son and his often-understated contribution to the success of the Belfast Giants.

Ben Lake returns for his second season in Belfast. A skilful winger with a keen eye for goal, despite a season cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic, Lake amassed 11 goals and 34 total points for the Giants, proving his versatility and offensive prowess.

Meanwhile, Griffin Reinhart sent waves around the EIHL this past summer, when the 2012 NHL 4th overall draft pick for the New York Islanders decided that Belfast is where he wants to play hockey.

The 27-year-old defenceman from Vancouver has an impressive CV with 37 games in the NHL under his belt, split between the New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers and a staggering 302 games in the AHL.

And finally, and certainly not least, Mark Cooper arrived in Belfast this season from the ECHL’s Carolina Stingrays, where he was an assistant captain for the past two seasons.

The 29-year-old from Toronto is a proven goal scorer at that level, leading to frequent call-ups to the AHL stretching all the way back to his first pro contract out of college.