Giants Blank Flames To Round Off Six Point Week
The Belfast Giants blanked the Guildford Flames 5-0 at the SSE Arena on Sunday afternoon, with help from a Mark Cooper hat trick, completed short-handed.
JJ Piccinich had Belfast’s first clear chance of the game four minutes in, skating out from behind Flames goalie Liam Hughes in possession and shooting on the turn, clipping the left post.
The Giants were comfortable on their opening penalty kill of the game when Cam Knight sat for tripping at 5:43, and their opener followed at 9:22 when Slater Doggett dangled his way up the Flames slot towards the blue line, firing a beautiful wrist shot on the turn (Assist: Ciaran Long). (1-0)
Slater Doggett ripped another clean wrister from the right circle on Belfast’s first power play of the game (John Dunbar, interference, 15:06), but goalie Liam Hughes gloved it out of the air.
There was just enough time left in the period for a Jordan Boucher holding call on the freshly released (and fairly aggravated) Dunbar at 17:16.
Ben Lake provided the service from the left circle to the slot for Mark Cooper to tuck Belfast’s second of the game at 26:10 (Second assist: Slater Doggett). (2-0)
And then, with Guildford’s Kyle Locke in the box serving a double minor for tripping and abuse of an official (27:27), the pair did it again on the power play at 30:49 (Second Assist: JJ Piccinich). (3-0)
The Giants breezed their third penalty kill of the game at 31:51 when Lewis Hook was called for tripping, and their fourth goal of the game was to follow at 39:12 when JJ Piccinich ripped a vicious shot from the left circle. (4-0)
Kevin Raine sat for high sticking at 39:37, leaving the Giants with 1:37 on the kill to open the final period.
Mark Cooper opened the third period in spectacular fashion, breaking away to complete his hat trick short-handed at 40:59 (Assist: Jordan Boucher, Cam Knight). (5-0)
The Giants were unbothered by three successive penalties (Piccinich, slashing, 45:46 / Goodwin, tripping, 49:24 / Lake, tripping, 54:11). They even posed a threat offensively in the Flames zone during Lake’s penalty thanks to excellent work rate and stick work from Tyler Soy.
The Belfast Giants travel to Sheffield to take on the Steelers twice next weekend, before returning home on Friday 15th April to face the Steelers one final time as the Premier Sports Elite League approaches its dramatic conclusion. It doesn’t get any bigger than this. Tickets are on sale HERE!