The Stena Line Belfast Giants fell 6-1 to the Coventry Blaze on Sunday and take two points home following the weekends’ back-to-back away games thanks to Saturday’s win in Cardiff.
The Giants began their second game of the weekend without the injured Dustin Johner, Stephen Murphy and Jim Vandermeer with Jonathan Ferland missing through suspension.
Two goals in the opening minute were a decisive blow for a shortbenched Belfast side. Connolly’s impressive strike gave life to the Giants however the visitors tired as the game went on and the home side took full advantage.
Following the weekends games, the Giants still lie in fourth place with eight points from eight league games and four points behind the league leading Manchester Storm.
Fired Up Blaze Dominate Early Stages
The Coventry Blaze got off to the best possible start – scoring twice inside the opening 38 seconds. The nightmare first minute of the game for the Giants began with Marc-Olivier Vallerand netting after 0:16, assisted by Jordan Pietrus. Then, 22 seconds later, the hosts had doubled their lead thanks to Vallerand yet again, this time assisted by Brett Robinson.
The Giants regrouped and began to find their way back into the game with Garside and Sylvestre going close as Blaze netminder Kevin Nastiuk was called into action.
The visitors got their deserved breakthrough at 14:46 thanks to a fine Brendan Connolly finish. The sweeping Giants move began behind their own net with Blair Riley and Sebastien Sylvestre helping a quick transition into the Blaze zone with the flying Connolly picking up the puck and shooting high into the Blaze goal.
Giants Improve Though Blaze Extend Lead
The Giants continued to take the game to the Coventry Blaze during the middle period, however it was the home side who would grab the next goal. Jordan Pietrus turned scorer at 20:45, assisted by Vallerand, as the Blaze extended their lead to 3-1 after 40 minutes of action.
Blaze Tale Advantage Of Tiring Giants
The shortbenched Giants tired as the game moved into the final period and two goals, from Ross Venus and Garrett Ladd, 85 seconds apart gave the Belfast side a mountain to climb with 14 minutes remaining.
Gaelan Patterson posted the final goal of the game at 55:29 with a shorthanded finish after a 2-on-1 chance, assisted by Ryan Dingle.
Coventry Blaze 6-1 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Giants Man of the Match
#74 Matt Towe
Photos: Scott Wiggins
The Giants now return home to face the Fife Flyers in the Challenge Cup on Saturday 14th October at The SSE Arena, Belfast. Tickets are now on sale online at ticketmaster.ie as well as from the Arena Box Office either in person or by calling (028) – no longer available -.
For a second time this weekend – tonight's Man of the Match for your Stena Line Belfast Giants is… pic.twitter.com/exQYOZJU74
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) October 8, 2017