Belfast Giants get back to winning ways with win at Guildford Flames
Guildford Flames 1-3 Belfast Giants
The Belfast Giants got back into the win column in the Elite League as they downed the Guildford Flames 3-1 at the Spectrum to end their mammoth away stretch.
Goals from captain Blair Riley, Darcy Murphy and Francis Beauvillier snapped a two-game losing streak for the Giants, who head into tomorrow's mouthwatering clash with the Cardiff Devils at the SSE Arena with some momentum.
The victory means the Giants finish their 16-game road trip in the league with 13 wins and maintain their lead at the top of the Elite League table with a favourable home stretch coming up after the turn of the year.
It was Belfast who took the lead in a dominant first period, scoring at 8:28 when David Rutherford and Riley got the two-on-one breakaway, with the former putting it on a plate for the latter to score.
They should have made it two shortly afterwards, however Josh Roach somehow missed an empty net chance to take it in at the intermission a one-goal game.
But the Giants opened up a comfortable lead midway through the second period when they grabbed two quick goals, the first coming from Murphy at 28:59 on the delayed penalty after a long period of pressure.
50 seconds later and they had their third, a costly turnover from the Flames allowing Belfast to counter at pace, and Beauvillier showed no mercy with the finish at 29:49.
Netminder Tyler Beskorowany wasn't being made to work overly hard thanks to a concentrated defensive effort in front of him, but the rearguard effort was finally broken at 51:31 when Guildford winger Ian Watters pounced on a turnover and finished.
With the lead now two goals, and with a late powerplay opportunity, the Flames pulled netminder Chris Carrozzi for the extra skater, however the Giants shut down a couple of late chances to hold on for the victory.
Adam Keefe's side return to home ice tomorrow and will relish their meeting with the defending champion Devils having picked up an important road win.
Man of the Match: #15 Darcy Murphy
Belfast Telegraph Digital