Giants step up to the plate winning three in a row

Well the Giants finally step up to the plate by winning three in a row playing as a contender

The Stena Line Belfast Giants began the weekend with a comprehensive 4-0 home win over the Fife Flyers on Friday. A 23-shot Stephen Murphy shutout helped the Giants claim the two points thus moving the Giants into second place on Friday night in the Elite League standings.

murphyweb-450x235Stephan Murphy (31) playing his skates off with yet another shutout

The Giants now lay eight points behind Saturdays’ opponents, the Cardiff Devils, having played two games less. The home side came flying out of the blocks, dominating the opening period and outshooting the Flyers 17-7.

Stena Line Belfast Giants V Fife Flyers in the Elite Ice Hockey League

Blair Riley (25) Colin Shields (19) Derrick Walser (43) celebrate a Giants Goal

It was the Giants who opened the scoring when Blair Riley deflected Jim Vandermeer’s shot from the blue line into the back of the Flyers net. The Giants first goal was scored on the powerplay at 4:39.Colin Shields Former Giant

Colin Shields (19) always ready to score

The home side continued to pile on the pressure and it told once again at 16:09 as Colin Shields rifled a beauty of a slap shot into the roof of the Fife net – another powerplay goal for the hosts.

The Giants continued to control the game in the second period, however Shane Owen in the visitors net kept the score down to only with some excellent saves 0-2 against. The Flyers netminder turned away 14 Giants shots on goal during the middle period.

Stena Line Belfast Giants V Fife Flyers in the Elite Ice Hockey LeagueBrandon Benedict (26) nets the Giants third goal 

With 4:11 gone in the final period, it was 3-0 thanks to Brandon Benedict’s shorthanded goal, assisted by Steve Saviano and Matt Nickerson, as the home side extended their lead once more.

Stena Line Belfast Giants V Fife Flyers in the Elite Ice Hockey LeagueA Giants goal mouth struggle in the Fife Flyers game 

Stena Line Belfast Giants V Fife Flyers in the Elite Ice Hockey League

Ryan Martinelli  (88) Goalscorer with Steve Saviano Assisted  (12) celebrate scoring for the Giants

Ryan Martinelli completed the scoring with his side’s fourth goal of the game, assisted by Michael Forney and Steve Saviano at 8:29.

Next up for the Giants was s a quick turnaround to face the Cardiff Devils on Saturday at The SSE Arena, Belfast. So the final score was Stena Line Belfast Giants 4-0 Fife Flyers with the Giants Man of The Match was number 25 Blair Riley

Challenge Cup - Belfast Giants v Edinburgh Capitals

Giants Chris Higgins (68) on the Puck

Well lighting does strike twice in a row as he Stena Line Belfast Giants defeated the Cardiff Devils 3-2 on Saturday at The SSE Arena, Belfast. A goal from Chris Higgins, a double from Derrick Walser and a superb display in net by Stephen Murphy gave the Giants an important win over the Elite League leaders.

Murphy-web-450x235Stephen Murphy 

Stephen Murphy started in net for the Giants following his shutout performance the pervious night against the Fife Flyers. Alex Foster returned to the Giants line up with Adam Keefe the healthy scratch, stepping behind the bench in a coaching role for the game.

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Chris Higgins (68) scores the Giants Opener

derrick-walser-43

Players Coach Derrick Walser thought he Scored (43)

Challenge Cup - Belfast Giants v Edinburgh CapitalsChrisHiggins (68) netts Giants opening goal

It look like initially Coach Walser but it was claimed by Chris Higgins who opened the scoring to send the Belfast crowd wild netting the first goal with seven minutes left in the first period after a nice turn to get away the shot that flew past Ben Bowns and into the Devils net.

 The Devils should have scored on the Blair Riley’s penalty but a fluffed shot to a virtual open goal saved the Giants bacon. The second period started with Devils digging deep to get the equalizer. However against the run of play Belfast doubled their lead.

derrick-walser-43-carrying-the-puckDerrick Walser (43) scores for Belfast 

Derrick Walser skated clear of the Devils defense and took his breakaway opportunity well to slot the puck low past Bowns. That’s when the Devils thought enough was enough and Jake Morissette pulled one back for the Devils assisted by Joey Martin, after the Giants had sloppily given the puck away around the net.

Now the Devil’s were building a head of steam by leveling the score thanks to Gleason Fournier, assisted by Joey Haddad and Guillaume Doucet, and the game was tied 2-2 going into the final period.

DerrickWalser

Well it was now the turn of the Giants to show what they were made of and with just thirty-two seconds played on the third period game clock Derrick Walser scored his second of the night, assisted by Alex Foster and Brandon Benedict to edge Belfast back into the lead.

Challenge Cup - Belfast Giants v Edinburgh Capitals

Matt Towe  (74) played another solid game

The Giants had their work cut out for them in the final period keeping the Devils off the score sheet with Stephen Murphy making some world class saves throughout the game to see the Giants victorious including killing off two third period power plays on their way to an important win in Belfast.

So the was Final Score was Stena Line Belfast Giants 3-2 Cardiff Devils and the Giants Man of the Match was number 43 Derrick Walser

A trip the Scotland to quell the Capitals saw the Stena Line Belfast Giants made it three wins in three days thanks to a 6-2 win over the Edinburgh Capitals in Challenge Cup Group A on Sunday proving that lighting can strike thrice

Mason-Dickson-Web-e1471244659880

Andrew Dickson with Jeff  Mason of the Giant

Andrew Dickson made his first start of the season and his performance in net helped the visitors to the win along with goals from two of the best from James Desmarais, plus singles from David Rutherford, Michael Quesnele, Steve Saviano plus Jonathan Boxill.

Player Coach Derrick Walser was the healthy scratch on Sunday as the Giants looked to round off their Challenge Cup Group A campaign with another win after already clinching 1st place to advance to the Quarter-Finals where they will face the Manchester Storm over two legs – dates to be confirmed.

Stena Line Belfast Giants V Fife Flyers in the Elite Ice Hockey League

David Rutherford (91) always skates his sock off trying to score for the Giants

The game had only advanced into the second minute of play when the Giants opened the scoring with David Rutherford grabbing a goal against his former team, assisted by James Desmarais and Matt Towe.

Challenge Cup - Belfast Giants v Edinburgh CapitalsJames Desmarais  (79) on target for yet another Giants goal

It didn’t take long for the Capitals to bounce back as they equalized sixteen seconds later with Pavel Vorobyev netting assisted by Yevgeni Fyodorov. Belfast’s Mike Quesnele ensured the Giants would go into the second period in the lead scoring his first goal for the team, assisted by Chris Higgins late in the opening period

Stena Line Belfast Giants V Fife Flyers in the Elite Ice Hockey LeagueSteve Saviano (12) celebrates scoring for the Giants

Steve Saviano extended the Belfast lead early in the middle period as he scored just after two minutes were played in the second period, assisted by Adam Keefe. The home side pulled one back to move within one goal of the Giants thanks to Jacob Johnston’s powerplay strike, assisted by Pavel Vorobyev.

Stena Line Belfast Giants V Fife Flyers in the Elite Ice Hockey LeagueJames Desmarais (79) nets for the Giants

Again, the Giants added to their advantage as James Desmarais, assisted by David Rutherford, to give the visiting side a 4-2 advantage at the end of two periods.

James Desmarais grabbed his second goal and third point of the night when he made it 5-2 early in the third period, assisted by Matt Towe. Jonathan Boxill completed the scoring for the Giants, assisted by Chris Higgins and Ryan Martinelli, giving the visitors a comprehensive 6-2 won on the road in Edinburgh.

So the Final Score was Edinburgh Capitals 2-6 Stena Line Belfast Giants and the Giants Man of the Match was number 35 Andrew Dickson.

So the Giants can claim they are contenders after jumping into second place after Saturday night victory however falling to third place after the Steeler’s win on Sunday in League play whist the Giants were finishing off their last Challenge Cup game.

The Giants are into the quarterfinals in the Challenge Cup facing the Manchester Storm and are now starting to get their consistency going winning three in a row and placing themselves in the top end of the Elite League table. Have Giants turn the corner and starting to play as a team with scoring coming from the full squad of players. One can only so but the signs are looking positive.

 

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Written By Wayne Hardman

 

 

 

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