Giants Make it Nine With Victory Over Flyers
The Belfast Giants recorded their ninth consecutive Premier Sports Elite League victory at The SSE Arena on Friday night, defeating the Fife Flyers 4-1 with goals from Goodwin, Lake, Hook and Doggett. Goalie Jackson Whistle made the start, continuing the rich vein of form he has carried throughout the season so far.
The Giants weathered an early penalty kill when Captain David Goodwin sat for tripping at 4:22, as did the Flyers at 11:36 when Imants Lescovs was called for delay of game.
Fife goaltender Shane Owen was unbothered by Belfast’s early offensive from the perimeter; however, he could do nothing when Goodwin intercepted a cross ice puck in the low slot and sent it through the 5 hole at 13:53 (Assist: Scott Conway, JJ Piccinich). (1-0)
There was a second for the Giants at 18:20 with Bari McKenzie in the box for hooking. Ben Lake received a Griffin Reinhart pass in the right circle, unleashing a rocket of a wrist shot which sent the loudest roar of the night rippling around the SSE Arena. (2-0)
Jacob Benson sent the Flyers onto the back foot to start the middle period, sitting for holding at 20:14. To their credit, they shut the door on an imposing Giants power play unit.
Lewis Hook pounced in front of goal for Belfast’s third seconds later, as Griffin Reinhart bagged his second assist of the game at 22:21. (3-0)
The Giants went 2 for 2 on the penalty kill at 24:10 when Slater Doggett was called for high sticking, but the visitors pulled one back at 27:32 as Carson Stadnyk poked the puck past a sprawling Jackson Whistle at the Giants crease (Assist: Kristian Blumenschein). (3-1)
After Brandon Magee was called for hooking at 28:53, a fourth Giants goal was waved off by referee Stefan Hogarth following a similarly frantic scramble at the opposite end.
Belfast headed in at the break with the two-goal cushion, helped in no small part by some Jackson Whistle heroics in front of goal. However, with their domination on the shot count across two periods it was perhaps a tighter encounter for Adam Keefe’s side than it should have been.
Giants Captain David Goodwin was a notable absentee as the final period got underway, leaving Belfast to close out the game without one third of the most prolific forward line in the Premier Sports EIHL.
Shane Owen held the deficit at two with a beautiful glove save in the 45th minute, as an impressive battle of the goalies continued.
He was less fortunate at 47:02, when Slater Doggett crossed the blue line and pulled the trigger on a vicious snipe from deep in the slot- a beautiful finish for Belfast’s fourth. (Assist: Kevin Raine). (4-1)
There was a late hiccup for Belfast when Tyler Soy was called for hooking at 57:30, but Doggett’s goal was ultimately the insurance marker they needed to close out their ninth consecutive Premier Sports Elite League victory.
The Belfast Giants visit Fife tonight (Saturday 8th) for a rematch with the Flyers, before returning home to take on the Coventry Blaze in the Challenge Cup Quarter Final Second Leg on Wednesday 12th January at 7pm. Tickets are on sale HERE.