For the second night in a row the two sides couldn’t be separated in regulation but, unlike Friday’s game at The SSE Arena, Belfast which was won by the Devils in a shoot-out, this time Evan Mosey settled it by firing past Jackson Whistle 4:28 into overtime.
Daniel Tedesco, Matt McLeod and Quinn Preston all scored on the powerplay in the first period to put the Giants ahead, with defenceman Jeff Baum scoring in the third period to force the extra period after the Devils fought back, but Adam Keefe’s men would come up just short again in what was another fantastic game to prepare for their Champions Hockey League opener in Finland on Friday.
The Giants took full advantage of an early powerplay opportunity when Elijiah Barriga drew a hooking call from Joey Martin and, playing under the new CHL rules that state a powerplay must be played in its entirety regardless of whether a goal is scored, they struck twice on the same man advantage to pull ahead within the first couple of minutes.
Tedesco picked up where he left off from Friday’s first game by scoring just 31 seconds in with a nice finish on Callum Booth for the opener (0-1), before McLeod doubled the lead at 1:26 when he applied the finishing touch to Ara Nazarian’s cross-crease pass. (0-2)
And the powerplay would continue to do the damage as Preston got in on the scoring, River Rymsha boxed for tripping Kohei Sato and the Giants centreman lasering a shot in from the right circle at 5:26. (0-3)
The hosts would get on the board in the first period through Joey Martin, the Cardiff forward set in one-on-one on Whistle and providing a cool finish at 7:01 (1-3), but Belfast’s penalty kill would keep them two goals ahead at the first intermission as they played out a cross-checking call on Charlie Curti and a tripping call against Sato.
Neither side could find the net on early second period powerplays as Baum sat for delay of game and then Cody Donaghey was called for cross-checking for the Devils, while Sean Norris looked destined to grab a fourth for the visitors when found out front by Barriga but for a stunning double save from Booth.
Instead, Cardiff made it a one-goal game at 29:51 when Justin Crandall got the breakaway down the left wing and his pass to the crease was diverted in by the deftest of touches by Jamie Arniel to cut the deficit in half. (2-3)
Had Tedesco’s backhand on the breakaway found the back of the net instead of pinging back off the crossbar shortly after, then the second period could have belonged to the Giants, but the Devils struck back with two goals in 14 seconds to take the lead.
The tying goal came from the stick of Cole Sanford, who battled in front of the net to force the puck over the line under the body of Whistle at 38:13 (3-3), and then only a few seconds later Tyler Barrow put the home side ahead when a misplaced pass from Curti to Sato allowed the shot to come in and the winger was able to bat the rebound out of the air for the go-ahead goal. (4-3)
The Giants once again started the third period with an early penalty kill after being caught with too many men on the ice, and they would spend another two minutes down a man when Oliver Cooper was called for high sticking, but they killed both off to complete a perfect weekend for the special teams and instead set about trying to find the tying goal.
And they got it at 47:58 following a prolonged period of pressure in the Devils zone, Booth standing on his head to keep them out but he was eventually beaten by a brilliant shot from Baum from the right face-off dot to tie things up. (4-4)
Indeed, if one team was going to claim a winner before the final buzzer then it would be Belfast, who piled on the pressure and continued to pepper Booth with shots, but the Cardiff netminder held them at bay and it would need to go beyond the 60 minutes to determine the winner.
Preston came within inches of a spectacular winner early into overtime as he tried a Michigan shot but was denied by Booth but, despite Belfast dominating the extra period, it was Mosey who called game as he fired past Whistle in the slot with 32 seconds remaining for the game winner. (5-4)
The Stena Line Belfast Giants hit the road to kick off their Champions Hockey League Campaign. Their first stop is Finland’s Kivikylä Arena to take on Lukko Rauma on Friday 1st September. After a string of games on the road, Adam Keefe’s team returns to The SSE Arena, Belfast on Saturday 9th September for their first home CHL game versus HC Bolzano. Tickets are on sale HERE!