The Stena Line Belfast Giants extended their winning streak to three games on Saturday night, edging out the visiting Cardiff Devils by a score of 1-0. A powerplay goal from Elgin Pearce was all the Giants would need to pick up the win as the team’s defence and Shane Owen locked the Devils down with a 16-save shutout.
The Giants remain in third place – tied with the Cardiff Devils on 50 points though the Welsh side have played two games less. The Sheffield Steelers remain in first place with 57 points from 41 games.
Shane Owen started in the Belfast net and posted 19 saves with the Giants missing Liam Reddox.
The Giants and Devils skated out of the first period with a scoreless draw on the board after a fast-paced, tightly-contested 20 minutes of play.
There was a physical edge to the game as both teams tried to set the tone for the weekend. The teams each took two penalties in the first, highlighted by a Bobby Farnham interference call taken as he crashed Cardiff’s crease, nearly starting an early-game scrap.
The Devils would carry a slight 7-5 edge in shots on goal into the intermission.
Grabbing The Lead
Belfast would finally break through a few minutes into the second period. With the Giants on a two-minute power-play, Elgin Pearce picked up the puck from a scramble in front of the net and ripped a shot past a screened Ben Bowns. The goal was Pearce’s ninth in just 14 games since joining the Giants in December.
The teams would exchange big hits and quality scoring chances in a wild, back-and-forth second period but the 1-0 score in favour of Belfast stood after of 40 minutes of play. The Giants would also carry a slight 13-12 edge in shots on goal into the intermission.
Slamming The Door
The one-goal lead is all the Giants would need to squeeze out the victory on Friday night.
The team’s defence and goaltender Shane Owen slammed the door in the final 20 minutes, completely shutting the Devils down. The key to Belfast’s third period shutdown was two excellent penalty kills as the Devils weren’t able to generate quality chances despite having four minutes on the man advantage. When Owen needed to be strong, he was, turning aside 16 shots for the shutout.
Stena Line Belfast Giants 1-0 Cardiff Devils
Player of the Game
#22 Kevin Raine
The Giants and Devils will be back at The SSE Arena on Sunday, face-off 4pm, for the second leg of the weekend back-to-back series.
They’ll be at home again next Saturday to host the Manchester Storm before heading off on a four-game road trip through Nottingham, Guildford, Manchester, and Sheffield. Tickets are available online now at ticketmaster.ie.