Belfast Giants in goal-den response
Edinburgh Capitals 1 Belfast Giants 4: Doug Christiansen hailed the performance of his captain Adam Keefe as an understrength Belfast Giants team responded to Saturday night’s 4-1 defeat to the Fife Flyers in style.
Keefe didn’t score, but he played a massive part as the Giants recorded a 4-1 victory against the Edinburgh Capitals.
Will Colbert, Scott Champagne, Darryl Lloyd and Noah Clarke scored the goals as the Giants made sure that they didn’t fall any further than two points behind the Nottingham Panthers at the top of the Elite League table.
Robby Sandrock and Andrew Fournier were already on the injury list before the weekend and they were joined on Saturday by Craig Peacock, who suffered a nasty facial injury after being caught by a skate.
With a massive 29 stitches inserted in his upper lip the Englishman missed last night’s game in Edinburgh, but it is hoped that he will make a return when the Cardiff Devils visit the Odyssey Arena on Friday night.
“Adam Keefe was outstanding,” said Christiansen.
“He did the job that we need a leader to do and when we are short-staffed and have our other two captains out of the line-up we need guys like him to step up.
“That’s the reason that we brought him back this season and why he is the captain of our team.”
And Keefe wasn’t the only one to earn a verbal pat on the back from his coach.
“We were down numbers we need players who aren’t usually the main players for us to step up and show what they are capable of,” said Christiansen.
“Darryl Lloyd and Will Colbert came up with big goals and that’s what I am looking for at this time.
“We aren’t going to have Sandrock and Fournier for the next while and it’s wait and see with Peacock, so everyone has to work a little bit harder, play better and get us through this next couple of weeks because we have some big, big games before Christmas.”
After Saturday’s defeat the Giants came out strong against Edinburgh and they were ahead at 9:04 thanks to Colbert’s fourth goal of the season.
Clarke and Daymen Rycroft were the men who made the play and Colbert finished off to hand his team the perfect start.
Edinburgh responded within just two minutes, thanks to Mark Garside being hit with a holding penalty.
He wasn’t in his seat for long though as Curtis Leinweber hit the powerplay goal just five seconds after the play restarted following Garside’s offence.
The goals were flowing at a rate of knots when Scott Champagne restored the Giants lead at 12:35.
Again it was Clarke and Rycroft who were involved in the build-up and Champagne knocked in his fourth goal of an injury-ravaged season.
Clarke had a goal ruled-out before Lloyd struck at 31:38 to put the Giants further ahead. He skated through on goal and sent the puck between goaltender Tomas Hiadlovsky’s pads for his eighth of the season.
Both teams were putting everything into the search for more goals and it was the Giants who struck again, this time 11 minutes into the third period.
Garside saw his initial shot saved by Hiadlovsky and Clarke pounced to ensure that there was no way Edinburgh were going to mount a late comeback.