Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Giants hold off third period comeback Nottingham Panthers to edge Elite League

Belfast Giants 6 - Nottingham Panthers 4

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Belfast Giants Colin Shields celebrates scoring against the Nottingham Panthers during Sunday afternoons Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants Colin Shields celebrates scoring against the Nottingham Panthers during Sunday afternoons Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants Colin Shields celebrates scoring against the Nottingham Panthers during Sunday afternoons Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants Brendan Connolly celebrates scoring against the Nottingham Panthers during Sunday afternoons Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants Darcy Murphy with Nottingham Panthers Evan Mosey and Dan Spang during Sunday afternoons Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants Darcy Murphy with Nottingham Panthers Evan Mosey and Dan Spang during Sunday afternoons Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Belfast Giants Darcy Murphy with Nottingham Panthers Zack Phillips during Sunday afternoons Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.

Braces from Darcy Murphy and Brendan Connolly saw the Belfast Giants hold off a third period comeback from the Nottingham Panthers to edge their Elite League clash 6-4 at the SSE Arena.

Having led 5-1 a minute into the final period, the English visitors threatened an incredible fight back, however the hosts just about held out to secure a bounce-back win after their defeat on Saturday night.

Jackson Whistle was given the start in goals for Belfast despite conceding four the night before, while Nottingham countered with Danish backstop Patrick Galbraith between the pipes.

Much like the night before, the first period belonged to the Giants and, after Mark Derlago rattled the pipes at one end for the Panthers, the hosts opened the scoring at 1:53 as a shot from the blueline was tipped in front and Darcy Murphy was sweeping in at the crease to stab it home.

From there Belfast took over proceedings and they had several great chances to double their advantage, particularly when Nottingham ran into penalty trouble midway through the period, but the best they could muster was Colin Shields hitting the post.

But the best chance fell to Shields again just before the first intermission, however Galbraith pulled out a stunning pad stop to deny him low after he was found by Steve Saviano at the back door.

Much like the first period, the hosts were let off early in the second period when Mike Vaskivuo hit the post from the slot, and instead Belfast doubled their lead at 25:45 as Saviano centred to Sébastien Sylvestre and he placed a precise wrist shot over Galbraith’s stick side.

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