Double boost for Belfast Giants title tilt
Calvin Elfring's overtime winner sealed a weekend double for the Belfast Giants as they prepare for their assault on the Elite League title.
After beating Italian side Bolzano Foxes 6-3 on Saturday, it was a much tighter game between the teams yesterday.
Pre-season tiredness looked to have affected both teams in the second game of the double-header as it took until the final period for a goal to arrive.
After Bolzano took the lead, Kevin Saurette struck with only eight minutes to go to send the game into overtime, which is when Elfring struck.
The experienced Canadian showed just why new Giants coach Paul Adey brought him from Germany with two goals over the weekend as the Giants build towards next Saturday's season opener against the Edinburgh Capitals at the Odyssey Arena.
The new look Giants gave an early indication that they will once again be fighting for the title by comfortably seeing off the Foxes in the first game.
After going a goal down, Darryl Lloyd, Colin Shields and Gareth Roberts had the Giants coasting before Bolzano could muster a second goal.
Robby Sandrock then struck with one of his trademark powerful finishes to make it 4-2 at the end of the second period.
Giants goaltender Stephen Murphy frustrated the Italians on a number of occasions before they finally grabbed a third, but any hopes of a fightback were snuffed out as first Elfring and then Lloyd, with an empty net goal, scored to give Giants fans optimism ahead of the new season.