Giants eliminated by Lulea
Giants go down in CHL
Belfast Giants' chances of making the Champions Hockey League Playoffs are now mathematically over after a 6-3 home defeat by Swedish side Luleå.
A wrist-shot from the slot put Luleå one ahead early on in Belfast, Joonas Jalvanti getting the goal at 5:26. Almost 20 minutes later the Swedes got themselves a two-goal cushion with a rocket slapshot after the Giants failed to clear their zone.
Austin Farley’s smart finish made it three at 37:17 to put Luleå in a commanding position after two periods.
The Giants however weren’t prepared to let it go that easily, and two goals in as many minutes had the SEE Arena crowd rocking. Liam Morgan scrambled a puck home 1:49 into period three, and then namesake Reddox pounced on a spilled puck by David Rautio to bring the home side back to within one.
Luleå’s experience however came though as they regained control of the game: Robin Kovacs was given too much space to fire home at 45:04, before Petter Emanuelsson touched home from close range just over a minute later. There was potential for late drama when Liam Reddox brought the Giants back to within two again with 5:21 to go, but a final powerplay goal of the night from Arttu Illomäki put Luleå 6-3 up at the final buzzer – a result that saw them move into the next round.