New signing replaces injured Giant

Andrew Fournier will be replaced by Kevin Saurette.

The Belfast Giants are facing over two months without Andrew Fournier, as he prepares for surgery on a shoulder injury - but have signed a leading scorer from the Bundesliga to replace him.

Thursday, 20 December 2012
  • Sport
  • Ice hockey

High-flying forward Fournier will undergo surgery on Friday, after playing through the pain last weekend to help out his short-staffed side.

He still managed to score two goals in three games last weekend to help the Giants to wins over both the Cardiff Devils and Hull Stingrays.

"Fournier played with tremendous courage last weekend," head coach Doug Christiansen said.

"We knew before the weekend that he was going to need surgery. He was in a lot of pain all weekend, but played through it to help the team. We'll miss him in our line-up."

I am sure everyone at the Giants will help support him as he has surgery an ocean away from home at Christmas.

Doug Christiansen, Belfast Giants

With Fournier not expected to return to the ice until March, the Giants have been forced to add an import forward to their squad - but they're delighted to have snapped up a player who had been one of their summer targets.

The Belfast side have signed speedy right wing Kevin Saurette from Germany's ESV Kaufbeuren on a short-term contract.

Saurette will boost the Giants' forward unit, having scored 155 points in 170 Bundesliga games to become Kaufbeuren's top scorer.

"When I learned that he might be available, we jumped at the chance," Christiansen said.

"He skates extremely well and is a player who can help us on the powerplay and penalty kill. We expect him to be in the line-up on Friday night against Coventry."

Saurette will wear number 22 for the Giants - a number previously worn by Curt Bowen, who left the Giants as the leading scorer in franchise history at the time of his departure.

Belfast Giants v Coventry Blaze: Friday 21 December at the Odyssey. Face-off at 7.30pm.