Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Giants 6 - 3 Edinburgh Capitals: Giants hit Capitals for six on return to Belfast

By Stuart McKinley

It was Wet, Wet, Wet at the Odyssey Arena on Friday night. On Saturday it rained goals as the Belfast Giants marked their return to home ice in style with a win that keeps them four points clear at the top of the Elite League.

After playing eight successive away games throughout November, the Giants were back on familiar territory.

It was a familiar outcome to the game too as they recorded a 6-3 win over the Edinburgh Capitals, the sixth time this season that the Giants have scored at least four goals at the Odyssey.

And it could have been more only for Edinburgh Capitals goaltender Tomas Hiadlovsky. He faced a huge 54 shots in the space of 60 minutes and managed to keep 48 of them out.

It was nothing to do with poor finishing from the Giants either as Adam Keefe, Kevin Saurette (two), Dustin Whitecotton, Kevin Phillips and Chris Higgins all scored.

Jan Safar had equalised for Edinburgh in the first period, but the late goals from player-coach Richard Hartmann and Michal Benadik were mere consolation efforts.

"It was a really good win. I thought we played really well and dominated most of the game, especially five-on-five," said Giants coach Paul Adey.

"We got up to 6-1 at one point and I think maybe we fell asleep a little bit for a few shifts and gave up a couple of goals."

What is considered as the Giants' second line, Higgins, Saurette and Evan Cheverie, was on fire as they shared four of the six goals.

It was, however, a relatively quiet night for the top line of Colin Shields, Jeffrey Szwez and Whitecotton, with the latter the only one to find the net.

One of the Giants' strengths this season has been the fact that they aren't relying on one player or one line to score the goals, with eight players now on seven or more goals and Saurette's double has moved him level with Szwez as the team's leading marksman on 12 goals.

"I don't even know if we have a first or second line, I think we have three good lines," said Adey.

"Those guys game up big with Chris Higgins scoring, Kevin Saurette scoring and Evan Cheverie with four assists.

"They played a good game and produced some nice goals for us."

Edinburgh were very much still in the game as the first period ended 1-1 with Keefe and Safar trading goals, but the Giants forged ahead in the second period with goals from Saurette, Whitecotton and Phillips.

Saurette scored again early in the third period before Higgins made it 6-1 and then it was a case of coasting to victory.

"We had 40-plus shots in the first two periods and eventually we wore them down a bit and the puck started to go in more in third period," said Adey.

"Overall we stuck with it. It was a close game after the first, but we finally managed to put our chances away."

After a month of away days the Giants now play eight of their next 10 games at the Odyssey, between now and January 11.

Adey wants his players to make the most of their home advantage.

"It's nice to be home. We have played a lot of road games," said Adey.

"If we play like we did against Edinburgh game in, game out we should get good results."

Belfast Telegraph


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