Belfast Giants 1-5 Cardiff Devils: Giants fall at semi-final stage of Challenge Cup
The Belfast Giants fell at the semi-final stage of the Challenge Cup with a 9-6 aggregate loss.
Leading 5-4 from the 1st Leg, the Devils won on the road in Belfast to advance to the Challenge Cup Final in March. The Cardiff win snapped an impressive seven game winning streak from the Giants.
The Cardiff Devils took an early lead in the Semi-Final 2nd Leg when Mark Richardson’s shot was deflected into the Giants net by Patrick Borderleau at 5:13. Borderleau’s goal saw the Semi-Final tied on aggregate.
Adam Keefe dropped the gloves with Borderleau at 12:46 after the Devils goalscorer’s hit on Jonathan Boxill. Afterwards, the Cardiff player was awarded a Game Misconduct by Referee Smith due to the hit.
With only ten seconds remaining in the opening period, Mark Louis scored unassisted to extend his side’s lead on the night and give the Devils a 6-5 advantage on aggregate.
Mark Louis grabbed his second of the game at 31:14 when he stick handled his way through the Giants zone and cooly finished into the Giants net.
Little over three minutes later and it was 4-0 on the night when Chris Jones hammered the puck into he roof of the Belfast net, assisted by Joey Haddad at 34:21.
Following the fourth goal, Jackson Whistle was replaced in the Giants net by Stephen Murphy. Chris Higgins got the Giants on the scoreboard at 36:15 with a fine finish after receiving Derrick Walser’s pass. Higgins goal left the Giants trailing by two goals on aggregate.
With the Giants piling on the pressure during the final period, the Devils struck a decisive blow when Joey Martin scored on a breakaway at 52:39. Martin’s goal gave the Welsh side a three goal lead in the tie and rounded off an impressive road win for the Devils.
The Giants return to league action on Friday 10th February against the Dundee Stars.