Belfast Giants down Devils with overtime win in Cardiff
The Stena Line Belfast Giants produced an impressive comeback to win after overtime away against the Cardiff Devils on Saturday.
Chris Higgins’ winning goal at 62:34 saw the Giants complete the comeback from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at the home of the Elite League leaders. The Giants now trail the Devils by four points with four more league meetings to go between these two sides.
Jackson Whistle was the Giants starting netminder with Jeff Mason the scratch for Saturday’s Elite league matchup.
With these two sides meeting for only the second time in Wales this season, Matt Nickerson set down a marker right at the start when he dropped the gloves with Mark Louis after only 12 seconds gone.
The home side opened the scoring at 11:11 when Matthew Myers’ shot found it’s way into the Giants goal with Jackson Whistle unsighted.
With little over 5 minutes remaining in the period, David Rutherford join Nickerson in dropping the gloves when he went with Andrew Hotham in the Cardiff zone.
Myers’ goal, assisted by Scott Hotham, was the only strike in the opening period with the Giants trailing by one at the end of 20 minutes.
The Devils doubled their lead at 25:20 when Joey Martin’s pass deflected its way into the path of Patrick Asselin who shot into the empty net.
The Giants piled the pressure on their hosts and at 27:10, they netted for the first time in this game as Blair Riley snapped the puck into the roof of the Devils net. Riley’s goal was assisted by a nice Chris Higgins pass from behind the net as well as Michael Forney while on the powerplay.
Into the final period and at 43:01, the Giants had worked themselves back onto level terms. Matt Towe offloaded the puck to Mike Quesnele who unleashed a slapshot from the blueline which Jonathan Boxill redirected into the net.
Jackson Whistle was called into action time and time again during the final period as the home side turned up the heat as they went in search of a decisive third goal.
The game went to overtime and at 62:34, Chris Higgins stripped the puck from the Devils defenceman and rounded the Cardiff netminder when one-on-one to win the game for the Giants.
Next up for the Giants is a trip to Scotland on Sunday for the second game of the weekend, against the Dundee Stars, face-off 6:30pm. The Belfast side return to Northern Ireland for back-to-back home games against the Nottingham Panthers on Friday 20th January and against the Dundee Stars on Saturday 21st January.
Cardiff Devils 2-3 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Giants Man of the Match
#1 Jackson Whistle