Giants Down Stars in Pre-Season Goal Fest
The Teal Army was treated to a 9-4 victory at the SSE Arena, Belfast on Saturday night, as Giants legend and new Dundee Stars head coach, Jeff Mason returned to take on Adam Keefe’s side in a surprisingly physical pre-season exhibition.
Ciaran Long flicked a puck just over Stars goalie Brython Preece on the short-handed breakaway as Ben Lake sat for an early delay of game call at just 1:45.
Lake made amends for his early penalty by opening the scoring with a beautiful bar-down effort from the mid slot at 6:18 (Assist: Cooper, Ruopp). (1-0)
And then the floodgates opened. David Gilbert added a second at 8:43 (Assist: Cooper, Lake), Jeff Baum notched a third with his dad in the building at 9:25 (Assist: Long) and Tyler Soy made it four with a cool finish past an embattled Preece at 10:41 (Assist: Butcher) (2-0, 3-0, 4-0)
Between the Giants third and fourth goals, Giants ace Scott Conway dropped the gloves with Ryan Verrier in a short but vicious tilt on the Giants blue line, earning both men five for fighting.
Romans Semjonovs responded with the Stars’ opener past Giants starter Peyton Jones at 11:56, before Conway put himself an assist away from a Gordie Howe hat trick in the first period of a pre-season game with Belfast’s fifth at 15:59 (Assist: Will Cullen). (4-1, 5-1)
There was another quick response from Dundee as Philippe Sanche beat Jones at 16:32, and an intense opening period has just enough time for Belfast’s Gabe Bast to sit for illegal equipment following another altercation at the Stars’ blue line. (5-2)
There was little stoppage throughout the first ten minutes of a comparatively quieter second period. Stars goalie Brython Preece made a string of impressive stops to keep the Giants at bay- most notably robbing David Gilbert at the back door in the opening minutes.
Gabe Bast returned to the box for hooking at the half hour mark, but an early-season Dundee didn’t do much to trouble Peyton Jones in the Belfast crease.
Mark Cooper followed for tripping at 34:50, and this time the Stars were more clinical as Hugo Reinhardt struck their third at 35:17, before Gabe Bast restored the three-goal cushion with a beautiful unassisted effort at 36:17. (5-3, 6-3)
As tempers continued to flare, Dundee’s Ryan Verrier was pulled for interference after a scuffle in his own goal mouth in the dying seconds.
Belfast’s Colby McAuley had also been called for abuse of an official as the second period elapsed, leaving the sides at 4 on 4 to start the third.
A tame opening ten minutes played out, before David Goodwin wristed home Belfast’s seventh at 47:00, with the debuting Darik Angeli registering his first point as a Giant with the assist. (7-3)
Ben Lake followed that with a stunning solo effort, dragging the puck across the face of Preece’s goal before tucking it away glove side at 49:53. (8-3)
The Giants killed off a Ciaran Long slashing call at 52:21, before Romans Semjonovs notched his second of the game with 5:54 remaining. (8-4)
Lake was in the box for interference with 4:24 remaining, but the Giants kill unit surged and Ciaran Long banished his earlier short-handed miss, finishing David Goodwin’s puck at 56:54. (9-4)
The Giants travel to Dundee for another pre-season encounter with the Stars on Sunday 28th August, before beginning their CHL Campaign with a trip to the Czech Republic to face Ocelari Trinec on Friday 2nd September and then a return to the SSE Arena, Belfast to face Swiss team HC Davos on Sunday 4th September. Ticketing information can be found HERE!