The Giants were bolstered by the unexpected return of fan favourite Jonathan Boxill ahead of the Glasgow Clan’s now-traditional Boxing Day visit to The SSE Arena. It was a hero’s welcome for Boxill, who jumped at the chance to help the team while back in the UK visiting family for Christmas.
The Belfast Giants, returning from their impromptu Covid-19 protocol break, looked the better side from top to bottom in a riotous first period.
As Adam Keefe’s lines rolled, the Giants dictated the pace. Shane Starrett was impressive in the crease, but the Glasgow goaltender could only do so much alone as he faced consistent Belfast zone time and a lot of rubber.
Ciaran Long unleashed a one timer from the point at 8:17, soaring towards goal and taking a double tip off Lewis Hook and finally Tyler Soy en route. (1-0)
With Mikko Vainonen in the box for slashing, JJ Piccinich doubled the home side’s tally at 16:17; getting to the edge of the paint and poking home a short puck from David Goodwin. (2-0)
Returning to bolster the line up over the Christmas period, fan favourite Jonathan Boxill rolled back the years with a committed diving poke check to see the puck over the blue line and out of the Giants zone in the last big action of the period.
Dyson Stevenson was called for roughing at 24:09; penalty minutes that a struggling Glasgow could have done without. Tyler Soy needed no invitation to bag his second of the night as a clinical Giants puck cycle in the zone was barely challenged by a static kill unit. (Assist: Slater Doggett, Jordan Boucher) (3-0)
Just 20 seconds after Soy’s goal, Colton Yellow Horn was sent to the box for slashing by referee Andy Dalton. The Glasgow Clan rallied, producing their first successful penalty kill of the night at the third time of asking.
Despite that, the onslaught continued. Ben Lake fed Slater Doggett who ripped a vicious shot from the mid slot for Belfast’s fourth at 31:33. (4-0)
Lewis Hook provided the Giants’ first trip to the box at 44:37 with a hooking penalty. Clan Defenceman Mitch Jones promptly pulled one back from close range when Brock Beukeboom sent the puck to his tape at 45:27. (4-1)
Ben Lake teed up Slater Doggett for a beautiful solo effort at 55:34, as Belfast’s #17 dangled his way down the slot and deked Starrett from close range for his second goal of the afternoon. (5-1)
David Goodwin’s contact with Starrett in the crease sparked a melee inside the last five minutes as Doggett got tangled up with a furious Mitch Jones behind the goal. Jones’ frustration continued as he made his way off the ice, resulting in a 5+match penalty for abuse of an official.
On Wednesday 29th December, the Giants take on the Guilford Flames on the road. Then, it’s back home for a New Year’s Eve clash against the Dundee Stars at The SSE Arena, Belfast. Tickets are ON SALE HERE