Cardiff Devils 0 Belfast Giants 4: The Belfast Giants hit three goals in as many minutes during a third period onslaught to leave the Cardiff Devils shell-shocked.
Ruffling feathers: Craig Peacock of the Belfast Giants got on the scoresheet against the Cardiff Devils last night |Michael CooperBY stuart mckinley
elite league ice hockey
Backed by their counterparts from Ulster Rugby, who were in Cardiff ahead of their RaboDirect PRO12 game against the Blues tonight, the Giants put on a show that stunned the Welsh capital and Mark Anscombe's men will now be looking for a repeat performance.
The game was still very much in the balance as the third period started with the Giants leading 1-0 thanks to Daymen Rycroft's early powerplay opener.
Then came a treble blitz as the Giants – who had been out-shot 15-6 in the second period – handed the Devils a lesson in goalscoring. Craig Peacock notched his first goal of the season before Rycroft and captain Adam Keefe completed the rout.
With eight points taken from a possible 10 so far in the league, the Giants will now head into this weekend with a double scotch in mind, as Braehead Clan come to the Odyssey tomorrow night before a trip to Fife on Sunday.
And with confidence high, coach Doug Christiansen will now expect his team to complete a winning treble, despite playing three games in four nights.
The first powerplay of last night's game, with former Giant Bari McKenzie sent to the box, gave the Belfast men the chance to take an early lead and they took full advantage of Cardiff's misdemeanour. Will Colbert brought the puck forward from the Giants’ blueline, fed Andrew Fournier and he supplied the pass for Rycroft to score at 3:43.
The goal gave the Giants the impetus and they began to attack almost at will. Even when Cardiff went on a powerplay as Graeme Walton was sent to the penalty box at 9:43 it was the Giants who looked more threatening.
Things began to turn in Cardiff's favour with Chris Blight forcing a great save from Giants goaltender Stephen Murphy, with Greg Stewart then going close at the other end.
With Murphy in his usual peerless form he was proving very difficult to beat, despite Cardiff raining shots in on his goal.
The Giants then made their hosts pay for not being able to find the net with their treble-salvo – with the first of those three quick-fire goals coming at 41:23.
Rycroft and Fournier were involved again, this time with Craig Peacock finishing to break his duck for the season so far. Within little more than a minute-and-a-half it was 3-0, this time Fournier and Peacock combining for Rycroft to net his second.
Less than 30 seconds later, at 44:24, the Giants all but killed the game off. Mark Garside and Darryl Lloyd made the play and Keefe provided the finish.