The Stena Line Belfast Giants made it two wins in as many nights with a Sunday defeat of the Sheffield Steelers. The Giants followed Saturday’s dramatic 5-4 overtime win with a 4-3 victory on Sunday for a four point weekend.
Trailing 2-1 at 53:43 - two goals in 33 seconds from Pat Dwyer, to complete his hat-trick, helped the Giants take a second weekend win against the Steelers and keep pace with the Cardiff Devils at the top of the Elite League.
Belfast will now take a break from domestic action as they host the Final of the International Ice-Hockey Federation Continental Cup next weekend.
Tyler Beskorowany backstopped the Giants to the win in the Belfast net with Chris Higgins, Guillaume Gelinas, Hunter Bishop, Matt Towe and Andrew Dickson missing for the Giants.
The only goal of the opening period came at 14:11 when Pat Dwyer’s shot on goal deflected low past Matt Climie and into the Steelers goal.
The hosts dominated the middle period, outshooting the Steelers 23-10, though were unable to double their lead with Matt Climie in fine form.
Evan McGrath snatched the Sheffield equaliser with a powerplay snapshot at 41:14, assisted by Aaron Johnson.
The Steelers led for the first time on the night at 50:59 when John Armstrong hammered home shorthanded, assisted by Tanner Eberle.
The Giants fought back immediately and, at 53:43, they grabbed a deserved equaliser. Jim Vandermeer switched the puck to Pat Dwyer who rifled into the roof of the Sheffield goal.
33 seconds later and the Giants regained the lead yet again. Pat Dwyer stick handled around the net and cooly slotted home at 54:17 to leave the Giants 3-2 ahead.
Darcy Murphy robbed a Steelers defenceman of the puck in the neutral zone and skated in on goal to unleash a fierce strike, assisted by Blair Riley and David Rutherford at 57:30.
Jonas Westerling’s powerplay strike, with Climie pulled, brought the Steelers to within one with 47 seconds remaining, assisted by Ben O’Connor.
The Giants return to home action again next weekend with the IIHF Continental Cup Final. The prestigious European event takes place on Friday 11th, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th January when the Giants face HK Gomel (Belarus), GKS Katowice (Poland) and Arlan Kokshetau (Kazakstan) respectively.