Belfast Giants get big road win in Guildford for four-point weekend
Guildford Flames 1-4 Belfast Giants
The Belfast Giants recorded another four-point weekend as they defeated the Guildford Flames 4-1 at the Guildford Spectrum in the Elite League.
Darcy Murphy and Paul Swindlehurst potted goals for the Giants either side of Brett Ferguson's finish for the Flames, with captain Blair Riley and David Rutherford grabbing last-minute empty-netters to clinch it for Adam Keefe's men.
They're now nine games unbeaten in the league with an impressive victory at one of the league's top sides at home, increasing their lead at the top of the standings to four points.
A relentless start to the game saw both sides have plenty of chances before the first stoppage in play came just after the six minute mark - and it was because of a Giants goal.
The opener came at 6:19 as winger Darcy Murphy got the shot away that beat Guildford netminder Travis Fullerton to break the deadlock as the visitors made the most of some early pressure.
Patrick Dwyer had a good chance shorthanded before Brett Ferguson levelled for the Flames at 11:52, the forward finishing off a rebound after Tyler Beskorowany batted the puck back out.
In the second period, Blair Riley had a good shot blocked by Fullerton before Francis Beauvillier just put a redirect wide in the slot, while Beskorowany shut down a dangerous two-on-one chance for Guildford.
It looked like the Giants weren't going to capitalise on some good zone time towards the end of the period when they retook the lead, defenseman Paul Swindlehurst firing over Fullerton's stick side at 35:22.
The Flames missed a great chance out in front to level just before the second intermission, and Hunter Bishop could have doubled Belfast's lead early in the third period when his tip out in front just missed the net.
Needing a goal, the hosts began to crank up the pressure and after Beskorowany needed to make a good save down low, the Flames crashed a shot off the bar in the closest they came to pulling level for a second time.
But as Guildford pressed for a goal to send the game to overtime, they allowed the Giants plenty of chances on the counter, and when they pulled Fullerton for the extra attacker, Riley made sure of the win at 19:01, with Rutherford's further strike at 19:17 the icing on the cake.
Belfast Telegraph Digital