Cooper led the offensive surge, grabbing a double, with Ara Nazarian, Roach, Bobby MacIntyre, Will Cullen and Jacob Friend also on the scoresheet as 13 saves from Tyler Beskorowany kept the Panthers quiet at the other end.
The Giants were controlling the early exchanges, with Kohei Sato firing wide from the left circle and Greg Printz denied by Rok Stojanovic on a one-on-one, but it was Jordan Kelsall who opened the scoring for Nottingham as he picked the top corner from the slot at 4:08. (1-0)
Belfast would kill off a holding the stick call against Ciaran Long and Charlie Curti couldn’t force the puck under the pads of Stojanovic as he drove the net, but Nazarian would tie it up at 13:36 as Jeff Baum’s initial shot slipped under the pads of the netminder and, with the puck sitting on the goal-line, the winger was able to tap it in. (1-1)
It was a feisty finish to the period, though, Nazarian called for roughing after nearly adding a second when he took it in close from the left circle, and then Cullen dropped the gloves with Westin Michaud just before the buzzer sounded for the first intermission.
The Giants burst out of the blocks early in the middle frame and they seized the lead just 2:32 in as Cooper ripped in a beautiful shot from the top of the left circle that picked the top corner (1-2), but the Panthers would tie it on the powerplay at 25:20 as Hugo Roy’s pass to the crease was deposited by Otto Nieminen (2-2) as Curti (instigating) and Nazarian (unsportsmanlike conduct) sat.
But from there the period belonged to the Giants, and after Roach had given the visitors the lead again when he fired home from the slot at 28:26 (2-3), a too many men penalty against Nottingham would put the Giants on the powerplay and following David Goodwin hitting the post, MacIntyre would add the fourth at 30:45 when he bobbled a shot over the glove of Stojanovic. (2-4)
The chances kept coming for the Giants as Goodwin put a one-on-one effort wide, while at the other end a giveaway nearly provided Mathieu Lemay with a chance, but Cooper would add another powerplay goal at 37:32 as Simon Despres sat for boarding and Roach found the winger out front for the close range finish. (2-5)
An interference call against Nieminen at the end of the first period saw the Giants start the period on the powerplay and Cooper nearly completed his hat-trick when he tipped a shot wide, but Cullen would add the sixth at 45:27 when he stepped into the one-timer and hammered it into the top corner. (2-6)
Cooper could have easily added his third when he fanned on another effort in close and he was then blanked on a breakaway chance after a superb stretch pass either side of a fortunate rebound falling to the stick of Printz in close but he couldn’t find a way past Stojanovic as the netminder closed down the angle well.
Instead it would be Friend who would round off the scoring with a bullet of a wrist shot at 53:00, the puck going all the way in from the blue line (2-7), and a late penalty kill on a holding call against MacIntyre finished off the game on the other end in strong fashion on an impressive night at the Motorpoint Arena.
Next up, the Stena Line Belfast Giants end their weekend road trip when they take on the Coventry Blaze at the SkyDome on Sunday January 21, before welcoming the same team to the SSE Arena on Saturday January 27. Tickets are on sale HERE!