Giants Overturn Panthers Three Goal Lead with Five Unanswered
The Stena Line Belfast Giants overturned an early 3-0 deficit in Nottingham, netting five times without response for a character 3-5 comeback victory.
There was little Giants goalie Tyler Beskorowany could do about the bobbling puck in front of goal at 4:30, which was pounced upon by Stephen Anderson to open the scoring early for the hosts. (1-0)
Beskorowany launched himself left to right to deny Matthew Myers mid period, but the Panthers were up by two when a superb dish from David Levin into the zone found Brett Welychka at the back door on the breakaway at 13:14. (2-0)
Belfast were fortunate to round out the period on the power play as Michael Caruso was called for a soft trip at 18:42.
Scott Conway’s tripping call at 21:31 saw Luke Ferrara piling on the misery with a third for Nottingham on the power play at 23:30, but the Belfast Giants began to rally. (3-0)
Adam Keefe’s side killed off a Josh Roach slashing call at 24:26, before Mark Cooper tipped down Matt Foley’s shot from range at 26:51. (3-1)
Cooper bagged his second in spectacular fashion as a huge save from Beskorowany at the opposite end sent Belfast on the breakaway. Crossing the blue line, Cooper cut inside for a beautiful finish to bring his side to within one at 30:18. (3-2)
The Giants had another power play when Jack Hopkins sat for high sticking at 31:19 but struck level back at 5 on 5 with another Cooper goal- but this time it was new signing Grant with his first marker in teal at 39:49. (3-3)
Mark Cooper was instrumental again at 45:13, firing a puck towards goal which was redirected by Scott Conway to hand Belfast their first lead of the game. (3-4)
Swedish forward Henrik Eriksson was left on the ice by a Michael Caruso elbowing call at 46:19, but the Giants power play was cut short by a Ben Lake slash at 48:16 sending the sides to 4 on 4.
There was a brief moment of anxiety for the travelling Teal Army when David Gilbert was whistled for tripping at 57:58, as Panthers coach Corey Neilson called netminder Alex Dubeau to the bench to skate 6 on 4 on the power play.
But a determined rush from Lewis Hook found Ben Lake in the zone, who converted into the empty net to seal a remarkable comeback victory on the road. (3-5)
The Stena Line Belfast Giants return home to The SSE Arena, Belfast for the conclusion to their Challenge Cup Semi Final against the Guildford Flames next Wednesday 25th January at 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale HERE!