Belfast were without Ciaran Long, who was withdrawn from warmups after exiting last Sunday’s game against the Dundee Stars with an upper body injury. Two-way Giant Sean Norris was also on assignment with parent club the Milton Keynes Lightning.
Scott Conway fired a warning shot on the Manchester Storm at the five-minute mark, dancing through two Storm jerseys before his shot was turned away by goalie Jeremy Brodeur, before Mark Cooper followed it up mid period with a backhand effort off the post.
Darik Angeli’s hooking penalty at 11:42, and a strong first shift from the Giants kill unit, opened the door for a ferocious Conway to tear into the zone short-handed, ripping the opener over Brodeur unassisted at 13:19. (0-1)
Storm forward Tyson Fawcett’s slashing call at 23:01 was followed up by a spell of 4 on 4 as Belfast’s Tyler Soy (interference) and Manchester’s Stephen Johnson (holding) headed for the boxes at 34:47.
A peach of a finish from Will Cullen mid-zone marked the returning Josh Roach’s first point as a Giant in 22/23, as the defencemen combined to double the visitors lead at 36:28. (0-2)
A comparably muted middle period played out before an enthusiastic scrum in the neutral zone saw Manchester’s Scott Simmonds and Belfast’s Mark Cooper and Sam Ruopp sit for roughing with three seconds left on the board.
A superb piece of individual skill from Conway looked to have the Giants ahead by three early in the third, but after dangling his way through the zone and tucking the puck away on the wraparound, the referees waved it off for goalie interference off the puck.
Tyson Fawcett’s breakaway in the 46th minute was Manchester’s best chance of the game, but a strong kick save from Giants goalie Peyton Jones kept his goose egg intact.
Will Cullen struck his second of the game on the power play at 53:58, taking Ben Lake’s pass for a long-range effort as Scott Simmonds sat for cross checking. (0-3)
The sides exchanged one more power play as Manchester’s Chase Harrison sat for delay of game at 55:29 and Lewis Hook was called for boarding at 58:01, but the Belfast Giants ran the clock to see out a confident victory on the road.
The Stena Line Belfast Giants’ road trip continues on Sunday with a visit to the Coventry Blaze at 5:30pm. They return home to The SSE Arena, Belfast for a pre-Christmas clash with the Fife Flyers on Thursday 22nd December at 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale HERE!