Belfast Giants 4 Coventry Blaze 1
Giants moved to within two points of league leaders Nottingham and two points clear at the top of the Erhardt Conference with this win over Blaze at the Odyssey Arena but the final score does not tell the full story as Blaze were well in this game until two Giants goals inside the final three minutes iced the win.
Four wins in five now for Doug Christiansen’s men but only one win in four for Blaze as they look to be struggling to stay in the league race.
A great start for the home side with Sam Roberts firing them ahead after only 2.31 but before the end of the opening period Blaze hit back and at 11.11 Brad Leeb tied the game.
The second period saw Giants outshoot Blaze by 23 to 13 but Peter Hirsch remained solid in the visitor’s cage until beaten at 35.47 by a shot from Noah Clarke to see the home side edge ahead once more.
Period three saw Giants have debutant Kevin Saurette thrown out on a 5+game for clipping at 46.57 but the Blaze powerplay unit was unable to take their opportunity and as time wore down Giants killed off the game with a delayed penalty goal by Greg Stewart at 57.46 and an empty net strike by Matt Towe at 58.43 to ensure the points were staying in Northern Ireland.
Period Scores: 1-1, 1-0, 2-0
Penalty Mins: Bel 4+2+27=33, Cov 6+2+2=10
Powerplay: Bel 0/5, Cov 0/5
Shots On: Stephen Murphy 17+13+10=40, Peter Hirsch 19+23+10=52 + 1 ENG
Referee: Tom Darnell