Belfast Giants fall to home defeat against Edinburgh Capitals
Belfast Giants 4 Edinburgh Capitals 6
The Belfast Giants dropped their first game of the season at home as they fell to a 6-4 defeat to the Edinburgh Capitals at the SSE Arena.
Slovakian forward Marek Tvrdon scored twice for Edinburgh as they picked up their first win of the season and gained two valuable Challenge Cup points.
There was a first appearance of the season for Ballymoney netminder Andrew Dickson who started for Belfast, while 24-year old Russian stopper Pavel Shegalo was in goal for the visitors.
Although the Giants started stronger, Edinburgh took the lead on the powerplay at 4:54, Dylan Anderson taking the puck in front of Dickson and finishing impressively on the backhand.
But at 7:37 the Giants were level, Blair Riley passing into the slot from behind the net and Brendan Connolly firing home off the frame of the goal to equalise.
And three minutes later, at 10:23, Belfast took the lead as Jonathan Ferland’s initial effort was stopped by Shegalo, only for the netminder to spill the puck allowing Ferland to slide home the rebound.
Tvrdon got his first of the game at 16:56, skating down the boards and then cutting inside harshly, firing a shot in from a tight angle that Dickson could only divert into the net.
He continued his scoring by netting the Capitals’ third goal at 23:55, Anderson feeding Mike Cazzola who in turn fired a bullet pass across the face of the net where Tvrdon was lurking to tip the puck in at the slot.
The Giants powerplay has been excellent thus far this season, and again it served them well as, at 26:44, Darcy Murphy found space in the slot and fired low to Shegalo’s right to level the scores again.
The high scoring action continued as the Giants again struggled to cover the space in front of Dickson’s net and Pavel Vorobyov ghosted in to roof a shot to restore the Capitals’ lead at 32:05.
The two sides would go in at the second intermission level, however, as the Belfast powerplay flexed its muscles again and John Kurtz tipped in a delfected shot at the crease at 37:29 to make it 4-4.
Again the Giants started the third period the stronger of the two sides but it was Edinburgh who struck to retake the lead, Julius Nyqvist hammering in a slapshot from the top of the left circle at 46:11.
Try as they might, and even when they pulled Dickson in the final minute, Adam Keefe’s men couldn't find the equaliser as Shegalo pulled off several impressive late saves to kill the game.
And the visitors made sure of the win by turning over the puck with 36 seconds to go and Sergei Banashkov slid home the empty netter from the neutral zone.
Man of the Match: Dylan Anderson (Edinburgh Capitals)
Belfast Telegraph Digital