Giants show their quality and hammer the Capitals
Steve Thornton enjoyed the perfect homecoming as the Belfast Giants hammered the Edinburgh Capitals 8-2 in the returning coach's first competitive match back at the Odyssey Arena after a four-year absence.
Five different players – Colin Shields, Ray Sawada, Evan Cheverie, Kevin Saurette and Craig Peacock – scored for the Giants in a comprehensive victory.
And although Thornton was struck with injury problems, his team wasn't as short benched as the Capitals, who were only able to ice 13 skaters.
That was after Riley Emmerson was hit with a massive 10-match ban just hours before the game, following an incident during the Giants' 2-1 win in the Scottish capital last Sunday night.
Giants defenceman Kevin Phillips suffered a concussion after a hit to the head just 64 seconds into the match and he was absent last night too.
Edinburgh have also been fined £1,000 for their failure to provide a full gametape from the match and with no video footage of the game to view the Elite League's Department of Player Safety, they went off the referee's report.
An Elite League statement confirming Emmerson's ban said: "During the home game against Belfast Giants on Sunday 7th September 2014, Riley Emmerson was assessed a two-minute minor penalty for boarding at 1:04 in the first period.
"The Department of Player Safety has automatically reviewed this incident because of the injury sustained by Belfast #62 Kevin Phillips as a result of this play.
"Although much of the matchnight footage was available, Edinburgh were unable to provide footage of the opening minutes of the game and therefore the incident was missing from the gametape.
"The Elite League requirement is for clubs to provide footage of the whole game to assist any potential review process.
"With this in mind, the Department of Player Safety has come to the following conclusions: There was a penalty on the play, therefore the play has been deemed illegal. Belfast #62 Kevin Phillips took no further part in the game. Belfast #62 Kevin Phillips has been diagnosed with concussion.
"The Department of Player Safety has increased the original penalty called on the night to a match penalty for boarding.
"Edinburgh have been fined £1,000 for failure to supply the matchnight footage required and, as a result, Emmerson will be banned for 10 matches.
"If the matchnight footage or any Elite League-approved information can be supplied, the Department of Player Safety will take this into consideration and further review this incident."
Shields and Sawada (powerplay) had the Giants ahead at the end of the first period, with Dennis Rix temporarily levelling the scores.
A penalty shot from Jade Portwood made it 2-2 early in the second period, but Cheverie and Saurette put the Giants in control before third-period goals from Cheverie, Sawada (powerplay) and a Peacock double – the first short handed – sealed the win.