Damage Done in First Period as Giants Dominate Blaze in Belfast
The Stena Line Belfast Giants were utterly dominant at The SSE Arena, Belfast on Saturday night, putting the Coventry Blaze to the sword to the tune of seven goals without reply.
Giants goalie Jackson Whistle was forced into a spectacular dive across his goal mouth after being drawn wide in the second minute, as the Coventry Blaze crashed the net.
Gabe Bast’s opener from the edge of the crease at 8:57, following a squared pass from David Goodwin on the left marked the Belfast Giant’s 5000th all-time goal. (1-0)
But they weren’t finished there, as Scott Conway added a second blocker-side at 9:41 before a play from behind the net by Bast found Mark Cooper who added a third from the same area at 12:23. (2-0, 3-0)
Things went from bad to worse for the Coventry Blaze when Ben Lake’s fourth at 15:18 appeared to come off his skate but was given following an inconclusive video review. (4-0)
But it did nothing to lessen the plaudits for an utterly dominant opening period, as Tyler Soy punched home a fifth at 15:36. (5-0)
The Giants began the second period much the same, moving the puck exceptionally in the Coventry zone in the opening minute.
Will Cullen took the game’s first penalty at 27:56 in an otherwise quiet middle period, sitting for a tripping call which Belfast’s kill unit dealt with comfortably, forcing no less than two turnovers in the Blaze zone and coming close on a David Goodwin breakaway.
Coventry showed signs of life in front of goal in the closing minutes of the period, but Whistle held onto his clean sheet heading into the third.
David Goodwin found Scott Conway who added a sixth at 41:55, shortly before Tyler Soy struck Paavo Holsa’s post, as an evening to forget for the Finnish goalie neared its end. (6-0)
A melee at 50:26 which saw roughing penalties handed to Belfast’s Ben Lake and Coventry’s Kim Tallberg (2+2) also sparked a confrontation between Belfast’s Colby McAuley and Coventry’s David Clements. McAuley offered Clements the opportunity to settle their differences, but the English Defenceman thought better of it.
A Johnny Curran holding penalty at 56:24 not only opened the door for David Goodwin to punch the final nail at 58:31, but eased Jackson Whistle another two minutes closer to the shutout. (7-0)
The Stena Line Belfast Giants take to the road for the next two weeks, facing the Coventry Blaze on Sunday afternoon at 5pm before travelling to the Cardiff Devils on Friday 21st October and Guildford Flames on Saturday 22nd. The Giants return to The SSE Arena, Belfast on Wednesday 26th October for a midweek league encounter with the Dundee Stars. Tickets are on sale HERE!
Images by William Cherry, Press Eye.