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Halbert ties it late to leave Blaze and Giants all square

Photo: Scott Wiggins

Coventry Blaze and Belfast Giants are all square after an enthralling first leg of their Premier Sports Playoffs Quarter-Final matchup at the Skydome on Saturday night.

The lone goal of the opening period went the way of the Giants despite by outshot by their hosts. Ben Lake's initial shot was saved by CJ Motte but the rebound broke to Darcy Murphy to fire home and put the visitors ahead at 5:50.

Coventry created better chances in period tow, but couldn't find a way to seriously trouble Tyler Beskorowany. At the other end, the Giants celebrated going two ahead much to the confusion of the rest of the Skydome with video review confirming the puck had gone nowhere near crossing the goal line.

Eventually the Blaze got on the board with a deserved equaliser through Janne Kivilahti with 8:10 left to play in period three. However, Slater Doggett put the Giants back ahead at 55:04.

As Coventry pressure for an equaliser it was defenseman Nathanael Halbert who jumped into the play to fire a loose puck in the slot past Beskorowany with 1:49 left on the clock. Giants' Head coach Adam Keefe called a timeout to steady his troops ahead of the final stages, and the clock ran down to leave things all tied up heading back to Belfast on Sunday.

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