Two goals in the space of 24 seconds from Ben O’Connor and Peter Crinella in the first period set the hosts on their way, and they added on in the second period through Bryan Lemos, making Matt McLeod’s late strike no more than a consolation for the visitors.
The Giants had two early chances to put the first goal on the board as Guildford took two penalties, Kyle Locke heading off for interference and Brett Ferguson penalised for slashing, but the visitors couldn’t capitalise and instead the home side forged two goals ahead in quick succession.
The first came at 12:07 as O’Connor received the puck at the blue line and unleashed a laser of a shot through traffic that beat an unsighted Tyler Beskorowany (1-0). Just 24 seconds later the lead was doubled as Crinella was sent in unopposed on the Giants goal and just managed to beat Beskorowany with a clever finish. (2-0)
Head coach Adam Keefe burned the Giants’ timeout after the second goal, but it would not yield a goal before the intermission for his side, even though they had a third chance on the powerplay when the Flames were caught for too many men.
A brighter start to the middle frame from Belfast saw Charlie Curti’s effort crash off the crossbar and away, and they would hear the sound of the post again shortly after the midway point of the period as a tasty rebound from Matt McLeod’s initial shot fell to the stick of Ciaran Long but he could only find the woodwork.
At the other end, a quick breakaway from the Flames saw Matt Alvaro get a shot away on Beskorowany from the left circle but the goalie was able to swallow it up, while the Giants were solid in holding on for their first penalty of the night as Davy Phillips was called for cross-checking.
Both teams had chances to find the net late in the period, the Giants couldn’t as Ara Nazarian’s shot was stopped superbly by Eamon McAdam and the rebound couldn’t be forced in, but at the other end Lemos showed strength at 38:55 as he cut inside from the left circle and sniped into the top corner for the hosts’ third. (3-0)
An early powerplay for the Giants resulted in the Flames producing their fourth kill of the night as Nazarian came close to putting the visitors on the board from the slot but he just fired wide. If it wasn’t for Beskorowany's save then Ryan Tait could have finished the game off when he skated in one-on-one.
But the Giants’ hopes of clawing back a result were effectively ended when Miles Gendron was ejected from the game for cross-checking, putting the home side on a five-minute powerplay, and they should have added a fourth when Patrick Bajkov was found all alone in front but Beskorowany made a huge save which saw out the 5-on-3 powerplay as Kohei Sato headed off for high sticking, too.
With Beskorowany pulled for the extra skater late in the game, the Giants would at least avoid being shut out as Ciaran Long’s shot was tipped in by McLeod in front at 58:20 (3-1)
but it was not enough to prevent another defeat for Keefe’s men.
Next up, the Stena Line Belfast Giants head on the road for an Elite League double-header next weekend, starting at the Sheffield Steelers on Saturday and then at the Manchester Storm on Sunday, with their return to The SSE Arena, Belfast coming a week later on Saturday November 25 with the visit of the Glasgow Clan.