Goals from Gabe Bast, Darik Angeli, Sean Norris, Mark Cooper and an empty netter at the death from Colby McAuley sent Adam Keefe’s side into their Champions Hockey League campaign next week on a high note.
The Giants rested Scott Conway on Sunday afternoon as the puck dropped at the Dundee Ice Arena, with Colby McAuley bumping up to the top line between David Goodwin and Darik Angeli.
The sides exchanged power plays early to no avail. First, Mark Cooper sat for cross-checking before Mac Howlett was called for hooking.
Brython Preece produced a string of quality stops mid-period to keep Belfast at bay before Colby McAuley struck iron with a puck off the crossbar.
With Jackson Whistle barely tested at the opposite end, Gabe Bast finally opened the scoring at 17:12 with a stunning individual effort on the wraparound. (0-1)
Fabrizio Ricci was called for holding with 1:21 remaining in the period, sending the Giants in at the break with a one goal advantage and an extra man off the drop in the second period.
Kevin Raine headed straight down the tunnel following a collision with the boards as the second period got underway, but after a spell on the blue line for Ciaran Long, Raine returned to action.
Tyler Soy’s pass to Steve Owre at the back door had Brython Preece beaten, but his shot sailed high over the bar.
There was mid-period drama as new Giant Sean Norris was awarded a penalty shot after Kris Inglis’ hook in the slot, but Preece stood tall in the Stars’ goal to glove his effort.
Belfast’s second came at 32:25 courtesy of Darik Angeli - a debut goal for the right winger who iced in Teal for the first time this weekend. (0-2)
The Stars finally found some offensive cohesion at 36:30 as Drydn Dow pulled the trigger from the right circle to beat Whistle. (1-2)
Belfast’s chance to respond on the power play came and went as the goalscorer Dow headed straight to the box for boarding, but the visitors found their third as Kevin Raine’s shot from the blue line was tipped home by Sean Norris, who made amends for his earlier penalty miss at 39:33. (1-3)
As the sides entered the final period of the weekend, Carter Folk brought the Stars back to within a goal with a low shot past Whistle at 45:52. (2-3)
The Giants struck back with a well worked goal through David Goodwin, Ben Lake and finally Mark Cooper at 52:33, but Dundee responded immediately at the other end courtesy of Philippe Sanche at 53:36. (2-4, 3-4)
Goalie Brython Preece was pulled, and Stars head coach Jeff Mason called a time-out with 2:30 to go as his side searched for the equaliser, but it was Colby McAuley who found the empty net with 32 seconds remaining to hand Belfast a clean sweep of four games in pre-season. (3-5)
Next up, we do it for real! The Stena Line Belfast Giants begin their Champions Hockey League Campaign with a trip to the Czech Republic to face Ocelari Trinec on Friday 2nd September, before returning home to the SSE Arena to face Swiss side HC Davos on Sunday 4th
September. Ticketing information can be found HERE!