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Giants' slick Scottish contingent leave the Clan shattered

Braehead Clan 1-5 Belfast Giants

By Stuart McKinley

The Belfast Giants' three Scottish players all made a telling impact on home soil to help stretch the team's winning streak to eight successive Elite League games.

Both Colin Shields and Mark Garside scored and goaltender Stephen Murphy produced another outstanding performance in a 5-1 win over Braehead Clan in Glasgow.

Shields' first-period opener was cancelled out by Scott Aarssen before two goals in the second and third periods gave the Giants a comfortable victory.

The result keeps the Giants four points behind the Cardiff Devils at the top of the table after they won 5-3 away at Coventry Blaze.

The outstanding Murphy made a couple of important saves to keep the scoreline blank, with Chris Higgins going closest for the Giants at the other end before the deadlock was finally broken at 15:52.

Some great play between James Desmarais and Steve Saviano opened up the chance for Shields and he made no mistake in picking his spot to beat Clan goaltender Michal Zajkowski.

Despite a period of pressure immediately after the goal the Giants couldn't find a second goal before Clan went on a powerplay when Mike Forney was called for interference.

The Giants killed almost a minute and a half of the penalty, but there was nothing Murphy could do to stop Aarssen's shot after he was set up by Alex Leavitt and Matt Beca.

Clan started the second period the better and had a goal chalked up as well as bringing out the best in Murphy, but it was the Giants who grabbed the go-ahead goal at 37:41.

Ryan Martinelli had just stepped out of the penalty box and ended up on a line with Saviano, who fed him the puck and the defenceman tapped in at the back door.

The Giants stretched their lead six minutes later, with another defenceman on the mark.

Matt Towe found Garside with a great pass and he sent the puck low into the bottom left corner of the net.

Two goals in less than four minutes just after the midway point of the third period clinched the points for the Giants.

A powerplay opportunity gave them the first goal, Alex Foster getting his stick to Desmarais' shot to deflect home the fourth goal at 51:45.

Foster then turned provider, collecting a pass from David Rutherford and setting up Saviano for a goal that capped an excellent performance five minutes from the end.

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