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Giants still in race for second, Clan stay outside of playoff places

Photo: William Cherry

Belfast Giants’ chances of finishing second this season are still alive after a home win over Glasgow Clan, combined with a defeat for Cardiff Devils elsewhere. The Giants beat Clan 3-0 in front of a sold-out SSE Arena.

Somehow, period one ended with just the single goal, and that came inside the opening minute. Ara Nazarian picked the puck up in the neutral zone and broke through two Clan defenseman to eventually beat Antti Karjalainen at the second attempt with only 59 seconds played. The Giants had a succession of excellent opportunities over the following 19 minutes but ended the first only one ahead.

The first of three penalty shots in the middle period saw the Giants double their lead – Matt McLeod’s deke beating Karjalainen 94 seconds into the period. 29 seconds later, the Giants were awarded another penalty shot when Greg Printz was impeded on a breakaway, but the Giants’ forward was unable to convert. Jordan Cownie had a good chance to get the Clan back into things but couldn’t beat an impressive Jackson Whistle, while Ciaran Long’s neat finish made it 3-0 at 22:31. Luke Lynch missed a late chance to open Clan’s account on the night, lifting the puck too high, but it was certainly down to Whistle as to why the Giants didn’t concede over the 20 minutes.

Bobby MacIntyre made it 4-0 with a shot that deflected past Karjalainen on the powerplay at 52:32, while David Goodwin rounded the Clan goalie to make it five with 2:52 left on the clock. Clan then saw Ryan Harrison ejected for Spearing, and captain Dyson Stevenson for Abuse of Officials, inside the final five seconds of the game.

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