Belfast Giants shine bright to eclipse Dundee Stars
The Belfast Giants hit the Dundee Stars for six as they brought their five-game losing streak to an end in style.
However, they had to fight back from going behind twice to win the game. Dundee first went ahead in the opening minute and then again in the second period before the Giants took control after the halfway mark.
Mike Radja and Mike Forney struck the equalisers before Brandon Benedict, Jonathan Boxill, Chris Higgins and Kris Beech scored the goals that won the game and closed the gap on Elite League leaders Cardiff at the top of the table.
The 3,100 strong SSE Arena crowd had hardly settled into their seats when Dundee stormed into the lead with just 35 seconds gone. Kevin Hart and Justin Faryna created the chance and Scott Brannon provided the finishing touch.
It took the Giants 14 minutes to level the score. Boxill did well to send the puck into the Dundee zone and David Rutherford pushed it on for Radja to beat Trevor Koenig in the Stars goal.
Dundee went 2-1 up at 26:29, almost straight from a face-off. Faryna pulled the puck out for Brannon and he fired it home beyond Stephen Murphy.
Former NHL defenceman Jon Vandermeer - making his Giants debut - was sent to the penalty box for interference, but his team-mates on the ice turned that to their advantage when they equalised again at 22:38.
Forney was sent away by player-coach Derrick Walser and he skated in on Koenig before pulling off a smart move to beat him with the puck.
Going ahead sparked the Giants and they went further ahead with another short-handed goal at 28:18.
Mark Garside was in the box this time when Benedict robbed the Dundee defence of the puck before going in on the net on his own to score.
The Giants took full control of the game in the third period with three unanswered goals.
Boxill got his stick to the puck to deflect it into the net past Koenig at 42:39 and the games was effectively won two minutes later when the Giants went 5-2 up.
This time it was Higgins - playing his first competitive game after coming back from a two-week injury break - who beat Koenig all ends up after going through on his own.
Higgins was also involved in the sixth goal - which came two minutes from time - as he supplied the pass for Forney, who picked out Beech with a great pass and that gave him a relatively simple task in firing the puck past Koenig from right in front of goal.
BELFAST GIANTS 6
DUNDEE STARS 2