Belfast Giants win their third straight against Sheffield Steelers
Belfast Giants 3-1 Sheffield Steelers
The Belfast Giants won a tense game at the SSE Arena, triumphing 3-1 over Erhardt Conference rivals the Sheffield Steelers.
It's a third straight win for Adam Keefe’s men, who were on top for most of the game and secured the victory with three first period goals.
Jackson Whistle started in nets for the Belfast Giants, his fourth start of the season, while the Sheffield Steelers turned to veteran Ervin Mustukovs between the pipes.
It took no longer than 32 seconds for the Giants to get off to a dream start as Brendan Connolly took the puck behind the net and fed it back to Dustin Johner, who flipped the puck in at the net.
That lead was doubled at 8:22 as the puck was fed back to Cole Jarrett at the blue line, and the defenseman rattled home a powerful slapshot through traffic in front of Mustukovs.
And the Giants made the most of their first period dominance with a third, working an odd man rush in the offensive zone allowing Sébastien Sylvestre to fire home from the top of the right circle at 9:14.
Falling three goals behind caused Sheffield head coach Paul Thompson to immediately call a timeout to rally his troops, and it worked as they responded at 10:56, Levi Nelson sweeping home Robert Dowd’s pass across the crease.
Despite dominating the second period on shots, 17-8, the Giants couldn't find a goal to solidify their position as Mustukovs pulled off some impressive saves, while Whistle at the other end was proving hard to beat too.
Sylvestre had a great chance to make sure of the two points at 44:35 when he was set through one-on-one with Mustukovs, but the Latvian goalie watched the puck all the way and pulled off the save.
But it didn't matter as the Giants held on in the dying seconds, despite facing a 6-on-4 situation for the last minute, to pick up an impressive win at home.
Belfast face the Steelers again on Sunday at the Sheffield Arena (face-off 5pm) in the second game of a home-home series as they look to make it two consecutive four point weekends.
Belfast Telegraph Digital