Despite a 23-save performance from Tyler Beskorowany and Johnny Curran’s fourth goal of the season giving them an early lead, the Giants were unable to prevent the hosts from fighting back with three unanswered goals to claim the points in Scotland.
The Giants got off to the dream start with just 1:46 on the clock as Curran produced a spectacular goal, picking the tiniest of gaps over Antti Karjalainen’s shoulder from the tightest of angles to put the visitors ahead (0-1), and Matt McLeod nearly doubled the lead when he hit the post from an almost identical spot.
Although the game was being dominated by the visitors, the Clan did get two big chances to tie it up when a stretch pass set Jordan Cownie in on goal and Reid Petryk had a big rebound, but Beskorowany coped with both, while at the other end Kohei Sato couldn’t hit the target when picked out right in front of goal by McLeod, before he was then denied by Karjalainen on the breakaway.
A hooking penalty against Mark Cooper gave the Clan a late powerplay chance to tie it up before the intermission, but the best chance went to the Giants as Karjalainen denied both Ciaran Long and Ara Nazarian on a shorthanded breakaway, although Beskorowany also needed to be alert to stop an excellent chance for Luke Lynch.
But the Clan would tie it up at 19:09 through defenceman Jake Bolton, the blue liner lining up a slapshot from the point and it seared past the unsighted Beskorowany and in for the equaliser. (1-1)
Glasgow were the ones applying early pressure in the middle frame, but they were being constantly thwarted by Beskorowany, and the Giants perhaps should have led when Quinn Preston and Curran went in on goal, but the pass just couldn’t stick to give the latter the tap-in.
But it would be the Clan who would take the lead in controversial circumstances at 32:21, a quick break and slick passing play from Petryk and Jordan Cownie finished off by Lynch and, although it looked strongly like the puck was kicked into the net by the Glasgow forward, the goal stood after video review (2-1), which would take play to the second intermission.
An early chance presented itself to Clan captain Dyson Stevenson, but Beskorowany blanked him to keep it a one-goal game, while the Giants could not connect on a tripping call against Reece Kelly on their first powerplay of the game.
They would get another opportunity on the man advantage as Sean Norris was caught up high by Matt Barry but, despite McLeod getting a chance to finish into a wide-open net in a scramble at the crease, once again they couldn’t find the equaliser as the clock ticked down, and they would also be unable to beat Karjalainen on a second Kelly tripping call.
And it would be the young Scottish defenceman who would complete the scoring at 57:52 as, with Beskorowany pulled for the extra skater, Kelly would slide it into the empty net for the Clan’s third (3-1), leaving the Giants headed back across the Irish Sea with nothing for their hard-fought efforts.
Next up, the Stena Line Belfast Giants return to home ice on Sunday December 3 with the visit of the Sheffield Steelers to The SSE Arena, Belfast with the Nottingham Panthers coming to Belfast on Friday December 8 before a trip to the Coventry Blaze a day later.