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Belfast Giants show their six appeal to seal top spot

Edinburgh 2 Belfast Giants 6

By Stuart McKinley

Published 14/11/2016

Net gains: Belfast Giants’ James Desmarais set up the opening goal before getting his own name on the scoresheet with a delightful late double
Net gains: Belfast Giants’ James Desmarais set up the opening goal before getting his own name on the scoresheet with a delightful late double

The Belfast Giants have secured top spot in their Challenge Cup group after hitting the Edinburgh Capitals for six in their final round-robin game.

And the victory in Scotland completed a perfect weekend for Derrick Walser's men, coming on the back of Elite League wins over the Fife Flyers and Cardiff Devils at the SSE Arena on Friday and Saturday night - the latter of those results moving them up to second place in the standings.

Two goals in each period saw the Giants complete a comfortable win last night.

They got off to a flying start, taking the lead with just over two minutes on the clock when David Rutherford struck at 2:04, finishing off after being set up by Matt Towe and James Desmarais.

Edinburgh responded immediately, levelling just 16 seconds later. Yevgeni Fyodorov got the assist as Pavel Vorobyev registered the equaliser.

The Giants regained the lead 87 seconds before the end of the first period when Mike Quesenele made his way forward from defence and finished after being set up by Chris Higgins.

Once again the Giants struck early in a period as they went 3-1 up.

Adam Keefe, who returned to the line-up after not icing against Cardiff, provided the pass from which Steve Saviano netted at 22:36.

Edinburgh responded again, but not quite as quickly this time. Desmarais was serving a slashing penalty when Vorobyev moved the puck into the path of Jacob Johnston and he scored at 25:23.

Desmarais, however, returned to the ice to net the Giants' fourth less than three minutes later.

Rutherford returned the favour from the opening goal to give Desmarais his first goal of the game.

The veteran forward then doubled his tally for the night four minutes into the third period, with Towe getting his second assist of the evening.

The six-hit was completed at 52:05 when Higgins collected the puck from Ryan Martinelli and sent it on for Jonathan Boxill to finish to the net, sealing top spot in their Challenge Cup group in style.

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