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Two NHLers added to Belfast roster

by Shawn P. Roarke /
The Belfast Giants Selects roster now features 15 players look to pull off their own version of a miracle on ice when the Selects face the NHL's Boston Bruins in a 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere challenge exhibition game next month at Belfast's Odyssey Arena.

This week, the Giants Select coaching staff added four more players to the mix for the historic match against the Bruins on Oct. 2. Boston is in Europe for a Premiere Games matchup against Phoenix the following week in Prague.

Wednesday, Belfast goalie Stephen Murphy, Belfast forward Colin Hemingway, Coventry forward Owen Fussey and Nottingham defender Jonathon Zion were added to the UK Elite League all-star team.

Both Hemingway and Fussey should be familiar to NHL fans.

Hemingway, a draft pick of the St. Louis Blues, played three games with the Blues in 2006 and also spent a number of years in the American hockey League. He joined Belfast this season for his second stint in the UK league. In 2007-08, he played for Edinburgh and scored 66 points in 47 games.

"Colin is a dynamic player," Belfast Giants coach Doug Christiansen said. "He is a player who can score goals and skate at the NHL level. This game will need players with speed and a physical presence, Colin has both and has played at the top level in the world."

Fussey, Washington's third-round pick in 2001, played four games with the Washington Capitals in the 2003-04 season. He also spent five years in North American minor leagues before leaving for Europe in 2008. Last season, with Edinburgh, Fussey had 66 points in 49 games en route to being named EIHL Newcomer of the Year.

In three games with Coventry this season, he has 2 goals.

"Having coached Owen before, I know what he brings to the table," Christiansen said. "There are very few players in the EIHL that have the skill set Fussey does. He will be a great addition to the team."

Plus, the Giants Selects finally have someone to stop pucks, naming Giants goalie Murphy to the team. Murphy, a native of Dundee, Scotland, is one of Great Britain's best goalies.

Last season, Murphy was voted British Player of the Year was voted team MVP for the Giants. 

"Murph has been fantastic for us," Christiansen said. "He is extremely athletic and will be ready for the Bruins shooters. Whoever is in net for us against the Bruins is going to have a busy night. I am looking forward to seeing our man against the best in the world!"

Zion, a native of Nepean, Ont., was a fourth-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1999.  He has been in Europe for the past four years. This season, his first with Nottingham, has seen him put up 8 points in his first four appearances.

The Belfast Giants Selects will continue to add players to the roster in the coming weeks as they prepare for the showdown against Boston.

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