Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Giants hammer Croatian champions Medvescak Zagreb 4-0

Belfast Giants' Kyle Baun with Medvescak Zagreb's Adam Deutsch during Thursday nights IIHF Continental Cup, Group E game at the SSE Arena, Belfast - Credit: William Cherry/Presseye
Belfast Giants' Kyle Baun with Medvescak Zagreb's Adam Deutsch during Thursday nights IIHF Continental Cup, Group E game at the SSE Arena, Belfast - Credit: William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th November 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Medvescak Zagreb's Mitja Robar is presented the man of the match award after Thursday nights IIHF Continental Cup, Group E game against Belfast Giants at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th November 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants' Tyler Beskorowany is presented the man of the match award after Thursday nights IIHF Continental Cup, Group E game against Medvescak Zagreb at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th November 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Medvescak Zagreb after Thursday nights IIHF Continental Cup, Group E game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th November 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants after Thursday nights IIHF Continental Cup, Group E game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th November 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants and Medvescak Zagreb after Thursday nights IIHF Continental Cup, Group E game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th November 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants' Dustin Johner celebrates scoring against Medvescak Zagreb during Thursday nights IIHF Continental Cup, Group E game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th November 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants' Blair Riley with Medvescak Zagreb's Vilim Rosandic during Thursday nights IIHF Continental Cup, Group E game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th November 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants' Lewis Hook celebrates as Patrick Dwyer scores against Medvescak Zagreb during Thursday nights IIHF Continental Cup, Group E game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th November 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants' Lewis Hook with Medvescak Zagreb's Vilim Rosandic during Thursday nights IIHF Continental Cup, Group E game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th November 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants' Jim Vandermeer scoring against Medvescak Zagreb during Thursday nights IIHF Continental Cup, Group E game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th November 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants' Kevin Raine with Medvescak Zagreb's John Armstrong during Thursday nights IIHF Continental Cup, Group E game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

By Mark Brooks

The Stena Line Belfast Giants defeated Croatian champions Medvescak Zagreb in an impressive display on the opening night of the International Ice-Hockey Federation Continental Cup Semi-Final group in Belfast.

Tyler Beskorowany posted a shutout, turning away 34 shots with as goals from Jim Vandermeer, Lewis Hook, Dustin Johner and Pat Dwyer helped the Giants to a win in the first of three games in as many nights at The SSE Arena.

Missing for the Belfast side were Colin Shields, Jonathan Ferland, Matt Towe, Andrew Dickson, Guillaume Gelinas and Francis Beauvillier.

The Giants win sees the Belfast side sit joint-top of the Semi-Final group following GKS Katowice of Poland’s 4-0 win against Ritten of Italy earlier on Thursday.

Netminders Tyler Beskorowany and Vilim Rosandic shut the door for the majority of the opening period, however it would be the hosts who took a late lead.

Pat Dwyer’s clever play saw the forward pick out an onrushing Jim Vandermeer who finished well into the Medvescak net with only 15 seconds left on the clock.

Belfast picked up where they left off in the middle period and doubled their lead early in the second. Dwyer was, again, the provider and this time fed the puck to Lewis Hook to cooly slot home past Rosandic.

Dustin Johner opened his Continental Cup account at 49:24, pulling a classy move on the Medvescak netminder, assisted by Hunter Bishop.

Pat Dwyer capped a magnificent performance with a goal of his own, rounding off the Giants scoring at 58:45, assisted by Kyle Baun.

The Giants will turnaround quickly as they face Italy’s Ritten Sport on Friday night at The SSE Arena, face-off 7pm. Friday’s early game sees Medvescak Zagreb take on GKS Katowice at 3pm.

Belfast’s final group game comes on Saturday night against GKS Katowice of Poland, face-off 7pm also. That game follows the clash of Ritten Sport vs Medvescak Zagreb.

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