The Giants, led by another superb 23-save performance from netminder Tyler Beskorowany, had tied it up early in the second period through a 5-on-3 shorthanded goal from Matt McLeod after Gordie Green had given Innsbruck the lead, but Mackin would punish them with the late winner.
The game sprang into life within the first couple of minutes as first Beskorowany had to make a massive save to deny former Coventry Blaze defenceman Nathanael Halbert on a one-on-one breakaway before Ara Nazarian just tipped Travis Brown’s pass wide of the target at the back post.
Both sides saw their penalty kill called into action midway through the period as Jeff Baum was called for tripping for the Giants and then Nick Albano sat for a holding call for Innsbruck, but the best chance went to the hosts shorthanded as Brady Shaw was left too much space out front but flashed his effort wide.
And it was Beskorowany who produced the goods to keep the game scoreless at the first intermission, the netminder somehow getting his pad down to deny Green what appeared to be a tap-in at the back door after Lukas Bär’s shot dropped right to his stick late in the period.
Beskorowany once again had to be alert straight off the face-off as a lucky bounce off the boards allowed Senna Peeters in one-on-one, before Luis Ludin set up Mackin in the right circle but he flashed his shot wide shortly after the home side played out a too many men call.
A Sean Norris interference penalty saw the Giants play out their second penalty, while Bär was punished for a trip on Greg Printz, but once again Innsbruck managed to keep the visitors at bay, although Printz was unlucky not to get a touch on Charlie Curti’s low pass to the crease with the goal gaping.
The warning signs were there for the Giants, though, as Adam Rockwood had two big chances, but it would be Green who would put Innsbruck ahead at 38:13 as Brady Shaw stripped Mark Garside of the puck and, although Beskorowany saved his initial effort, his line mate was following in for the finish. (1-0)
The Giants once again passed up a chance to tie it up early in the final frame as Bär sat again but, having passed up several chances on the powerplay, they would tie it up with a two-man disadvantage as Quinn Preston (interference) and Davey Phillips (slashing) were both in the box when McLeod beat his man to the puck in neutral ice and finished five-hole at 43:31 for the equaliser. (1-1)
Preston nearly set up Nazarian for a go-ahead goal with a brilliant pass back in front, only for the winger to shoot wide, and unfortunately that would be punished as a slashing call against Printz put the Giants shorthanded again and this time they would pay as some nice passing saw Halbert set up Mackin for the game-winning goal at 47:41. (2-1)
Printz nearly made up for the penalty when he set up Ciaran Long as soon as he was released from the box and then Preston almost grabbed an equaliser shortly after but both were denied by Innsbruck netminder Evan Buitenhuis, while the Giants had to be alert to kill off another slashing penalty against Daniel Tedesco.
But the best chance to force overtime came right at the death as a giveaway at the blue line from Innsbruck gave Mark Cooper the chance to tee up Elijiah Barriga, but the centre fanned on the shot with the goal gaping and the home side were able to hold on for the three points.
Next up, the Stena Line Belfast Giants are returning home to face Italy's HC Bolzano at home this Saturday, 9 September. Tickets are on sale HERE!