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Belfast Giants win streak snapped at ten as they drop second game in Sheffield

Sheffield Steelers 4-2 Belfast Giants

By Adam McKendry

A tired Belfast Giants side saw their domestic winning streak snapped at ten as they dropped the second game of their doubleheader with the Sheffield Steelers 4-2.

Former Giants forward Robert Dowd grabbed two in the first period, with Josh McFadden and Ben O'Connor also scoring in the second period as they deservedly took the two points on offer.

It was a blistering start from the Steelers that saw them grab the early initiative as former Belfast favourite Dowd grabbed two goals inside the first seven minutes to put them two to the good.

The goals were remarkably similar, the first coming at 4:00 when Josh Pitt centered the pass back into the slot where Dowd finished, with the second at 6:35 much the same with Jonas Westerling providing the pass.

It was a period of defensive issues for the Giants and, but for Beskorowany, it would have been a lot worse, as they failed to prevent the Steelers from getting good looks on goal.

The netminder saved from Ryan Martinelli when the defenseman ghosted in unnoticed and then denied Tanner Eberle on the one-on-one breakaway, both while Belfast were on the powerplay, to prevent the deficit being worse at the intermission.

But it did get worse right after the restart, and in slightly unfortunate circumstances, as Sheffield grabbed a third at 23:07 when Josh McFadden threw the puck to the crease and it was deflected in by the skate of Josh Roach.

Darcy Murphy then had a horror stretch as first he missed an empty cage to get the Giants on the board, then it was his penalty that put the Giants on the 5-on-3 penalty kill which led to the Steelers' fourth.

Winger Kyle Baun was already in the box and, with the two man advantage, Ben O'Connor rattled a slapshot past an unsighted Beskorowany at 28:54.

Having fallen four goals behind, suddenly Belfast sparked into life and after Roach rapped the crossbar with a shot from the high slot, Francis Beauvillier got them off the mark at 34:49 when he roofed Jonathan Ferland's pass from behind the net.

However, they could have easily gone in at the second intermission only two behind as they went on the counter with seconds of the period remaining, however Whistle pulled off a sublime double save.

The third period was dominated by the Giants as well as they desperately sought for a way back into the game, and they nearly got it shortly after the restart when David Rutherford saw a redirect go just wide.

One of the best chances fell to Baun, who found the puck between his skates when Whistle offered up a rebound however his shot went marginally past the post, while Baun then set up Beauvillier at the crease only for Whistle to make the save.

The visitors did grab a late consolation on the powerplay when Blair Riley roofed the puck past Whistle with 57 seconds remaining, however it was far too little too late, and the streak came to an end with the final buzzer.

Man of the Match: Robert Dowd

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