Cardiff Devils 3 Belfast Giants 4: John Gleed last night showed why Doug Christiansen was so eager to sign him by scoring twice as the new Belfast Giants coach got his first win with the team - including the game winning goal.
And all that from a defenceman who has only scored one goal in the last two seasons.
Gleed drew first blood with a goal in the opening minute against the Cardiff Devils and after the teams entered the final period locked together at 3-3, he struck again with just over 10 minutes of the game left to give the Giants three points out of a possible four on a rewarding opening weekend of the season.
Christiansen was so keen to have the 26-year-old on his roster that he rushed through a contract offer on the same day as receiving reviews about the player.
On last night’s performance it appears that was a shrewd move on the part of Christiansen, particularly if Gleed can continue making successful raids up the ice.
The game was only 45 seconds old when Gleed opened his account for his new team. Brett Hemmingway and Colin Shields had combined to create the opening and the Ontario native was on hand to finish the move.
The Giants powerplay then produced the team’s next two goals in a game they were never behind in.
There was just a single second of Justin Sawyer’s penalty remaining when Mark Garside got the final touch after Mike Hoffman and Brandon Benedict had done the ground work.
The Devils needed a response and they got one, with two goals that saw the teams go into the first break on level terms.
First Max Bribraer and then Kenton Smith struck to get the home side back in the game.
That Giants power play produced a third goal five minutes before the end of the second period, with Shields and Benedict assisting as Tim Cook scored.
Cardiff player-coach Gerad Adams levelled matters three minutes later, but there was no need for a second penalty shoot-out in as many nights for the Giants - having lost to Nottingham 24 hours earlier — as Gleed grabbed the winner.
Elsewhere, Nottingham Panthers made it a perfect weekend after their success over the Giants on Saturday by putting seven goals past defending league champions Coventry Blaze, who could only manage four in return.