Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Giants target winning end in Play-off finals

Edinburgh Capitals 3 Belfast Giants 4 (Belfast Giants win 7-4 on aggregate)

By Stuart McKinley

The Belfast Giants will head to Nottingham for this weekend's Play-off finals intent on finishing their season on a high.

They booked their place in the semi-finals with a 7-4 aggregate win over the Edinburgh Capitals, but not before being made to work for their victory.

Coventry Blaze now lie in wait in Saturday's semi-final and if successful they will then do battle with either league champions Nottingham or previous Play-off foes Cardiff on Sunday, with the last trophy of the season at stake.

Although the Giants led 3-2 from Saturday night's first leg at the Odyssey Arena, they were rattled when Edinburgh narrowed the deficit in the first period of last night's return match.

The Capitals were short handed when Robby Sandrock lost possession of the puck and Brent Patry fired it past Stephen Murphy at 16:03 to lift the home crowd.

The Giants regrouped during the break and just over two minutes after the restart Noah Clarke struck to restore the two-goal lead in the tie.

The advantage then became three goals at 23:33 when Craig Peacock fed Kevin Saurette and he forced the puck over the line.

Edinburgh were in no mood to give up in their mission to make it to Play-off finals weekend for the first time and their determination was rewarded when they scored another short-handed goal three minutes before the end of the second period.

Patry was involved again, this time linking up with Jade Portwood to provide Marcis Zembergs with the ammunition to make it 2-2 on the night and 5-3 to the Giants on aggregate.

Any hopes that Edinburgh had of winning the tie were crushed three minutes into the third period when Colin Shields stretched the Giants overall lead.

Edinburgh still had too much work to do despite Michal Dobron's powerplay goal five minutes from time and when they pulled goaltender Tomas Hiadlovsky with 40 seconds to go Saurette hit an empty net goal to put the tie beyond doubt.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph