Giants Continued Their Winning Run by Making it Six-in-a-Row
The Stena Line Belfast Giants continued their winning run by making it six-in-a-row with a 5-2 victory over the Manchester Storm at Planet Ice Altrincham on Friday night, moving up to fourth in the Viaplay Elite League.
Great Britain centre Scott Conway led the way with three points, while player of the game Ciaran Long, Mark Cooper, Colby McAuley and Steven Owre were also on the scoresheet, with GB netminder Jackson Whistle making 27 saves in the victory.
The Giants are now just seven points behind league leaders the Guildford Flames with four games still in hand, and head to the Nottingham Panthers on Saturday night looking to make it a four-point weekend.
The Giants got off to the dream start as they took the lead just 32 seconds into the game, former Storm man Long pinching in from the blue line and beating home goaltender Jeremy Brodeur with the first shot of the night. (0-1)
The visitors had to weather a fairly sustained spell of pressure from the Storm as the period went on, including the only powerplay of the period as Ben Lake sat for boarding, however Whistle was able to deny chances for Ryan Barrow and Jesper Öhrvall.
And the forwards would reward their netminder with a second goal just 19 seconds before the buzzer went for the first intermission, Conway and David Goodwin combining to set up the one-timer for Cooper from the left circle. (0-2)
It didn't take long for the Giants to add a third shortly after the restart, a scramble around the net presenting the chance for McAuley and the winger was able to force the puck under the pads of Brodeur at the crease at 23:18. (0-3)
Both sides had a chance to strike on the powerplay midway through the period as Dallas Ehrhardt sat for tripping for the home side, while Matt Foley headed off for cross-checking for the visitors, but neither side could connect on the man advantage.
But the Storm would pull one back before the second intermission as Öhrvall benefitted from some hard work behind the net by Michael Korol, the Swede finishing from in close to reduce the gap to two at 38:40. (1-3)
A boarding penalty against Scott Simmonds one second before the second intermission put Belfast on the powerplay straight away in the final frame and they took advantage, Conway wristing one home from the slot at 41:17 for the Giants' fourth. (1-4)
The Storm were unable to capitalise on a hooking call against Long, but with Finlay Ulrick (high-sticking) and Gabe Bast (unsportsmanlike conduct) both in the box to make play 4-on-4, a shot from Stephen Johnson squeezed in shortside on Whistle to make it a two-goal game at 53:34. (2-4)
But there would be no late comeback from the home side as the Giants swiftly took advantage of a tripping call on Kevin Ekman-Larsson, Owre firing in just four seconds into the powerplay for the clinching goal at 54:54. (2-5)
The Stena Line Belfast Giants travel to Nottingham where they face the Panthers tomorrow night. With a long stint on the road this November, the Giants are set to return home to The SSE Arena, Belfast for a Saturday Showdown with the Manchester Storm once again on the 3rd December at 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale HERE!