Giants blast out perfect response to recent slump
Nottingham 2 Belfast Giants 4
The Belfast Giants produced the perfect response to losing back-to-back games for the first time this season by securing victory in Nottingham for the second time in three weeks.
After Saturday's 4-1 defeat at the hands of Coventry Blaze, which followed last Sunday's loss to the Cardiff Devils, Derrick Walser's team made the 50-mile journey to Nottingham and beat the Panthers 4-2.
Powerplay goals from Blair Riley and Brandon Benedict put the Giants 2-0 up and after Alex Nikiforuk pulled one back for the Panthers, Jim Vandermeer restored the two-goal lead.
Brad Moran cut the advantage again, but Mike Forney made sure of the Giants' victory.
The Giants' powerplay really clicked and they made their numerical advantage count by punishing Nottingham's first two misdemeanours.
Andy Sertich was sitting out a cross checking penalty when Forney and Vandermeer set up Riley for the opening goal at 13:27.
Brian McGrattan started the second period in the box after getting into trouble late in the first. It took the Giants until more than halfway through the powerplay before Colin Shields and David Rutherford created the opportunity from which Benedict scored the second goal.
The Panthers hit back 70 seconds later when Nikiforuk scored and the whirlwind start to the period continued when the Giants made it 3-1 at 26:38.
It was a goal that owed much to the Giants defence as Jeff Mason assisted for Vandermeer.
Then, the Panthers struck early in the third period. James Desmarais was punished for a holding offence and while he sat in the box, Sertich set up Moran to close the gap to just a single goal.
When goaltender Miika Wiikman was pulled, Forney picked up the puck from Saviano and found the net to seal the victory.