The Stena Line Giants weren’t courteous hosts on Friday night, laying down their biggest beating of a season on the Dundee Stars by a score of 7-2.
It was a full team effort as seven different Giants — Lewis Hook, Matt Pelech, Jordan Smotherman, Liam Morgan, Jean Dupuy, Patryk Wronka and Jesse Forsberg put the puck in the back of the net. The victory gave the Giants back-to-back wins in league play for the first time since the beginning of the month.
Mid-way through the first frame, Lewis Hook forced a turnover at the blueline and fired a cross-zone pass to Patryk Wronka who was busting up the middle of the ice. Wronka corralled the puck and quickly deked out goalie Alex Leclerc, sliding a puck between his five-hole to take a 1-0 lead. The goal was Wronka’s first in league play on the season.
Despite the Giants carrying the play, the Stars would manage to get themselves on the board and knot the game at 1-1 shortly after as Matt Marquardt came out from the corner and roofed a shot past Shane Owen.
The momentum wouldn’t shift in Dundee’s favour. Shortly after allowing the game to be tied, the Giants restored their one-goal lead. They hammed the puck down low and generated multiple scoring chances before Jordan Smotherman finally fired a snipe from the face-off circle over Leclerc’s glove.
The Giants would extend their lead to 3-1 just before the end of the period. After Dundee took a two-minute penalty for hooking, Smotherman stormed into the zone and carried the puck into the crease. A scrum would ensue in front of the net with the puck rolling along the crease for a couple of seconds before Liam Morgan tipped it home.
The goals by Smotherman and Morgan were each their third in league play on the year, putting them both in a tie with Curtis Hamilton for the team lead in goals.
The Floodgates Open
That two-goal lead wouldn’t last long. Just 33 seconds into the second period, Dundee made the score 3-2 when Elgin Pearce picked up a rebound off of a shot from Anthony Beauregard and fired it past Owen. The Stars would continue to press in the early second period, but Owen stood tall to preserve the one-goal lead.
Yet again, the Giants would answer back. At 27:13, Matt Pelech picked the puck up in the neutral zone, plowed past a Dundee defender, dragged the puck across the slot, and waited out a sprawling Leclerc before firing a backhand into the yawning cage. The goal was the captain’s second in league play this season and it gave him goals in back-to-back games.
As they did in the first, the Giants would add another late-period goal to extend their lead. At 37:06, Lewis Hook ripped a puck past Leclerc to make it 5-2. In the aftermath, Elgin Pearce of the Stars would take a two-minute penalty for slashing, giving the Giants a chance to extend their lead further. After working the puck around the zone, Pelech ripped a clapper from the point that Jean Dupuy tipped past Leclerc, making the score 6-2.
Cruising To The Win
The Stars rolled into the third period clearly frustrated by the result thus far. Elgin Pearce spent an entire penalty kill looking for a fight to charge up his teammates and Jean Dupuy answered the bell. Unfortunately for Pearce, the plan backfired as Dupuy got the best of him, earning the takedown.
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) October 25, 2019
Despite their lead on both the goal and fight clock, the Giants kept pouring it on. A Dundee defender tried to clear the puck from behind the net, but it bounced off of Smotherman’s leg and right to the point for Jesse Forsberg, who ripped a wrist-shot past Leclerc to make the score 7-2. The goal was Forsberg’s first in league play this season.
Belfast would cruise through the rest of the third period on the way to a 7-2 victory. The seven goals represented the most the Giants have put on the board in a single game this season and it also gave them back-to-back league wins for the first time since the beginning of October. The Giants now own a 4-1-2 record in league play on the season.
The Giants will finish their weekend on the road with a key road game in Manchester with the Storm. They’ll be on the road for a Wednesday night game in Fife with the Flyers before returning to SSE Arena on Saturday to begin a home-and-home with the Coventry Blaze – tickets are available online now at ticketmaster.ie.