Coventry Blaze 5 Belfast Giants 8
More controversy involving Blaze as in their second of two home games over the weekend against Giants no fewer than four of the home side were ejected by referee Andy Carson in a game where they totalled 119 penalty minutes to Giants’ 34.
The game itself was a goal fest with thirteen net finders and doubles from David Phillips and Noah Clarke of Giants along with Dustin Cameron of Blaze.
The tone was set at the opening face-off as Adam Keefe of Giants and Benn Olson of Blaze dropped the gloves. Blaze opened the scoring with a powerplay effort by Matt Beleskey at 1.26 and went 2-0 ahead when Mike Schutte fired home at 5.33. Clarke then scored his first for Giants at 7.38 on the powerplay and Daymen Rycroft levelled at 10.22 before Brad Leeb of Blaze was the first ejection on a 10 + game for abuse at 11.33. Andrew Fournier then shot Giants ahead at 13.56 before the major blow up at 14.25, where some 71 penalty minutes were called including four fighting majors, a fighting match penalty on Mike Egener of Blaze and a game misconduct for 3rd man in for Blaze goaltender Peter Hirsch.
The second period saw Darryl Lloyd extend Giants lead at 23.28 before Keefe and Olson fought again at 25.08 with Olson being ejected for his third fight of the game. Cameron then pulled one back for the home side at 25.29 but 28 seconds later Giants regained their two-goal lead again thanks to Matt Towe. Phillips at 26.22 made it 6-3 but Blaze were not giving up and at 30.04 on the powerplay Cameron reduced the leeway. The period scoring still was not finished and at 35.31 Clarke scored his second to leave Giants 7-4 ahead after two periods.
A quieter third period perhaps understandably with Greg Leeb scoring Blaze’s fifth at 41.59 and Phillips completed the scoring for Giants at 57.51 to end quite a night at the Skydome!
Period Scores: 2-3, 2-4, 1-1
Penalty Mins: Cov 94+25+0=119, Bel 25+7+2=34
Powerplay: Cov 2/5, Bel 1/2
Shots On: Peter Hirsch 15+0+0=15 / Adam Goss 4+24+12=40, Stephen Murphy 14+8+10=32
Referee: Andy Carson
Edinburgh Capitals 4 Cardiff Devils 2
After their great win in Braehead on Saturday night Devils came back down to earth with a thud as Capitals snapped a four game losing run with a confidence boosting home success.
A back to form Rene Jarolin was catalyst for the home side and was involved in every goal, scoring 2+2, while at the other end of the ice Tomas Hiadlovsky stopped 29 of 31 shots fired on him as he returned to his best form also.
Capitals took an early advantage as player/coach Richard Hartmann shot them ahead after only 1.44 on the powerplay and then at 4.58 Martin Cingel was on hand to double the home advantage and end the opening period scoring.
The second period saw Capitals till creating more in the way of chances but it was Devils who scored the only goal when Paul Bissonnette scored his second goal in two games at 31.24 to bring his side right back into it.
The next strike was always going to be crucial and it came the way of the home side at 46.52 on the powerplay with Jarolin firing home. Devils dug deep however and at 52.17 it was game on again when Chris Blight netted on the powerplay.
Devils tried but could not force overtime and it was Capitals who sealed the win when Jarolin fired into the empty net with 26 seconds of regulation remaining.
Period Scores: 2-0, 0-1, 2-1
Penalty Mins: Edi 4+2+6=12, Car 4+2+4=10
Powerplay: Edi 2/5, Car 1/6
Shots On: Tomas Hiadlovsky 11+8+12=31, Phil Osaer 7+13+8=28 + 1 ENG
Referee: Dean Smith
Hull Stingrays 3 Fife Flyers 2
Another tight game between these two teams with Stingrays once again taking the points in regulation by the odd goal – this time thanks to a 53rd minute shorthanded effort by player/coach Sylvain Cloutier.
It’s now four wins in five for Stingrays but Flyers hops of building on Saturday night’s first win in seven were dashed.
The opening period was more in favour of the home side but remained goalless with GB goaltender Ben Bowns and Bryan Pitton in fine form. However the deadlock was broken in the second period at 32.23 when Jeff Caister fired the visitors in front. That lead did not last long as at 34.51 Stingrays were level thanks to Dominic Osman.
Into the third session and the home side edged ahead at 49.05 with a goal by Janis Ozolins and seemed secure when Cloutier added the insurance shorthanded on a delayed penalty at 52.41, however Flyers were not finished and at 56.39 Jason Pitton made it a one-goal game when he beat Bowns to set up a nervy finish for the home side which they survived, despite Flyers pulling goaltender Pitton late on.
Period Scores: 0-0, 1-1, 2-1
Penalty Mins: Hul 8+4+2=14, Fif 6+4+2=12
Powerplay: Hul 0/5, Fif 0/6
Shots On: Ben Bowns 7+6+17=30, Bryan Pitton 13+10+7=30
Referee: Kieron O’Halloran
Sheffield Steelers 4 Nottingham Panthers 3 (After Overtime)
The latest match-up between Steelers and Panthers produced another thriller with the game going to overtime where Tom Sestito won it for the home side in the 64th minute.
Earlier the teams had shard six goals in regulation with most of the scoring in the first half of the game but there was never more than a goal between the teams all night!
The first session saw Ashley Tait score first for Steelers at 8.28 but this was cancelled out late on when Anthony Stewart tied it up at 18.50.
Brandon Benedict edged the visitors ahead at 23.04 but that was short lived as Steven Goertzen made it 2-2 with a powerplay strike at 25.43. A further 17 seconds on and it was 3-2 Steelers with Jason Hewitt firing past Craig Kowalski and that was the way it stayed to the end of period two.
Panthers dominated most of the third period and finally their pressure paid off when NHL lockout signing Stewart grabbed his second goal of the game at 50.59 on the powerplay to set up a frantic last ten minutes of the game where neither side could force a winner.
Into overtime where Steelers won it when Sestito was on hand to fire the puck into the net at 63.08 and give his side the extra point.
Period Scores: 1-1, 2-1, 0-1, 1-0
Penalty Mins: She 0+0+16=16, Not 2+2+6=10
Powerplay: She 1/5, Not 1/3
Shots On: John DeCaro 9+14+11+1=35, Craig Kowalski 10+9+4+2=25
Referee: Tom Darnell and Michael Hicks