Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Belfast Giants' perfect start delights coach Adey

Held down: Belfast Giants players Adam Keefe and Davey Phillips are pinned to the ice by opponents

Cardiff Devils 2 Belfast Giants 7: New Belfast Giants coach Paul Adey savoured a perfect start to the season as his team sent a message to the rest of the Elite League.

Saturday night's 5-0 win over the Edinburgh Capitals at the Odyssey set the tone and Adey's new-look team followed that up last night by hammering seven goals passed a stunned Cardiff Devils.

The Welsh side may have had back-up goaltender Joe Myers filling in for Ross Miller, but it was the quality of the performance, rather than a shooting match against a rookie goalie that won the game.

"It's a really good start for us and four points out of four is all we could ask for," said Adey.

"We got a little bit lucky in that Cardiff were playing with their back-up in net, but we played well and after they took a bad penalty at 3-2 we never looked back.

"Everything is working, the powerplay and the penalty kill, and that's always positive."

Already the Giants have scored 13 goals, with seven different players finding the net.

Even a delayed flight couldn't put the Giants off their game.

The face-off was put back 20 minutes because of their late arrival in Cardiff, but they got to grips with things immediately, taking the lead after only 98 seconds through Evan Cheverie, who tucked away Kevin Saurette's pass.

The Devils upped their game straightaway, but the Giants responded likewise and they thought they had scored another goal midway through the first period only for the effort to be ruled out because a player had entered the goaltender's crease.

The game really sparked into life on 15 minutes when Giants captain Adam Keefe clashed with Cardiff's Brad Plumton, with some heavy blows traded before both men were given five minute penalties.

The Giants stretched their lead at 26:30 when Jeffrey Szwez and Colin Shields combined and defenceman Calvin Elfring skated forward to score his first goal of the season.

That goal seemed to spark the Devils and after forcing a fine save from Stephen Murphy and firing another shot just wide within seconds of the Giants second goal they pulled one back through Andrew Conboy at 27:09.

And the Devils then levelled at 29:40 when Mac Faulkner scored on a five-on-three powerplay.

Keefe then put in a massive hit on Plumton that resulted in a melee. Kevin Phillips and Conboy became involved too and they were thrown out of the game for their part in the incident while the other two carried on.

The Giants ended up on a powerplay as a result and Szwez put them back in front.

The third period belonged entirely to the Giants as they scored four times without reply.

Chris Higgins struck from another Saurette assist to make it 4-2 and when Keefe scored the fifth with nine minutes still to go it became a matter of just how many the Giants would score.

Robby Sandrock scored his first of the season on a powerplay at 55:59 and after Stephen Murphy was deemed to have delayed a restart, putting the Giants on the penalty kill, Keefe scored again with just two and a half minutes to go to complete the victory.

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