The Stena Line Belfast Giants edged out the Guildford Flames with a tough, gritty 2-1 victory to give them their second win in league play this season. Belfast got goals from Curtis Hamilton and Ben Lake in the first period and Shane Owen stood tall with 26 saves to help the Giants pick up the tight win.
Curtis Hamilton’s Streak Continues
After buzzing around the Flames’ net for a good chunk of the first 10 minutes, Curtis Hamilton finally broke through. At 9:09, Hamilton took a pass from Brian Ward and tipped it past a stretched out Travis Fullerton. The goal extended Hamilton’s scoring streak to an impressive seven games.
The Giants would extend their lead to 2-0 almost immediately after. Patryk Wronka got the puck in the corner and fed it out front to Ben Lake, who made no mistake firing the Giants’ second goal past Fullerton. The goal, which came at 9:59, was Lake’s first in league play this season.
The Giants would carry that 2-0 load out of the period after 20 minutes of play. They also held an 11-8 lead on the shot clock.
The Giants would maintain their 2-0 lead at the end of the second frame thanks to a hard-fought, tight-checking 20 minutes of play. Both teams had their chances, but both Fullerton and Shane Owen stood tall in net.
Things started to get chippy at the end of the period. After the Giants killed off a two-minute penalty, Flames forwards Kruise Reddick got flattened in the offensive zone by captain Matt Pelech. The two sides jawed back and forth, which set the table for a spirited third period.
The Giants held a 22-14 lead on the shot clock at the end of the second period.
Mid-way through the third period with the Flames buzzing, Shane Owen flashed the leather for one of his nicest saves of the night. The Flames defender fired a puck through traffic from the point but Owen read it perfectly and snared the puck in his glove. The key saved maintained the 2-0 lead into the second half of the third.
Unfortunately, Own couldn’t keep the door completely closed. With both Jordan Smotherman and Mark Garside in the penalty box for too many men and hooking respectively, Jesse Craige fired a one-timer from the mid-slot past Owen to cut the lead in half.
Just as the Giants had killed off the second penalty, Garside was sent back into the penalty box for interference. The Flames would go ahead and spoil their own opportunity as Calle Ackered would take a two-minute penalty of his own for roughing.
The Giants would hold off the Flames in the final minute to edge out the scrappy 2-1 win.
Stena Line Belfast Giants 2-1 Guildford Flames
Giants Player of the Game
#50 Shane Owen (26 Saves)
The Giants return to Challenge Cup action on Saturday in Scotland against the Dundee Stars, face-off 7pm.
Next at home is Sweden’s Lulea in the Champions Hockey League on Tuesday 8th October – tickets are now available online now through ticketmaster.ie.