The Stena Line Belfast Giants advanced to the 2019 Challenge Cup Final with an emphatic 6-3 win at home to the Glasgow Clan. Trailing 2-1 from the 1st Leg in Glasgow, the Giants impressed on home ice to win 7-5 on aggregate and will now face the Guildford Flames in the Final in Cardiff on Sunday 10th March.
Goals from Smotherman (x2), Rutherford, Baun and Riley helped the Giants to their second successive Challenge Cup Final and will get the opportunity to defend the trophy they won so memorably in Cardiff last season.
Tyler Beskorowany backstopped the Giants to the Semi-Final win against the Clan with the home side missing Guillaume Gelinas, Jonathan Ferland and Andrew Dickson.
Five Goal Opener In Belfast
Belfast opened the scoring at 9:33 when Chris Higgins found Jordan Smotherman in space with the forward firing into the roof of the Glasgow net to bring the home side level on aggregate.
David Rutherford edged the Giants infront in the tie with a cool finish at 13:36, assisted by Blair Riley.
Only 19 seconds later and Smotherman netted his second of the night with an unassisted effort.
Kyle Baun gave the hosts a four goal lead on the night at 18:17 with a fine one-timer after a cool no-look pass from Darcy Murphy
Glasgow pulled one back right at the end of the opening period when Matt Beca netted at 19:10, assisted by Scott Pitt.
Giants And Clan In Even Middle Period
Giants Captain Blair Riley restored his side’s three goal lead on aggregate at 24:22 with an awesome top shelf finish, assisted by David Rutherford and Chris Higgins.
Craig Peacock made it 5-2 on the night with a low finish past Beskorowany at 33:45, assisted by Brendan Connolly and Guillaume Doucet.
Giants Secure Place In Cup Final
Travis Erhardt brought the visitors to within one at 45:25, assisted by Matt Haywood and Rasmus Bjerrum.
Though the Giants hit back minutes later thanks to Josh Roach’s wrister from the blueline, assisted by Pat Dwyer and Kyle Baun at 47:27.
Stena Line Belfast Giants 6-3 Glasgow Clan (7-5 on aggregate)
Giants Player of the Game
#10 Curtis Leonard
The Giants clash with the Glasgow Clan in Belfast again on Saturday night, this time for an Elite League game at The SSE Arena, face-off 7pm. Both sides meet again in Glasgow on Sunday, face-off 4pm.
Then, on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd February, the Giants host the league leading Cardiff Devils for back-to-back home games.
Tickets are now on sale from the Arena Box Office in person or by calling (028) 9073 9074 as well as online from ticketmaster.ie.