Belfast Telegraph

Double joy sparks Belfast Giants defence

Edinburgh Caps 3-6 Belfast Giants

By Stuart McKinley

Two gritty victories have reignited the Belfast Giants challenge for the Elite League title.

After falling seven points behind leaders Braehead Clan last weekend, the Giants have cut that gap to five after beating the Sheffield Steelers in a penalty shoot-out on Saturday, before winning 6-3 against the Edinburgh Capitals last night - and they also have a game in hand over the Glasgow side.

The victory in Edinburgh was, however, shrouded in controversy as, with the game locked at 2-2, the match officials awarded a goal for the Giants when, in fact, the Capitals had thought they had gone in front.

After that the momentum was with the Giants and although Edinburgh did get a third goal early in the third period they never recovered from that setback.

Ironically, had the Capitals continued in the same vein which they started the game they could have been out of sight by then.

After travelling five hours by road from Sheffield the Giants were caught cold and Edinburgh led 2-0 with just 7:41 played.

Edinburgh's Riley Emmerson took exception to a slash from the Giants' Kevin Westgarth and a fight ensued.

With Westgarth still in the penalty box Lukas Bohunicky opened the scoring and the lead was doubled when Dennis Rix netted only 44 seconds later.

The Giants were back in the game just before the 10-minute mark though when Evan Cheverie finished on the wraparound.

It was game on when Mike Kompon scored his 20th of the season to level matters at 24:49 and the match really sparked into life just over a minute later.

Edinburgh thought they had regained the lead, but there was uproar among the home fans when rather than giving the goal the officials called the play back and awarded a goal for the Belfast Giants.

Referee Tom Pering appeared to miss the puck going into the Edinburgh net and it was only when play stopped after the Capitals scored at the other end that a linesman brought it to his attention.

Calvin Elfring was awarded the goal and the game clock was turned back 20 seconds before play restarted.

Edinburgh couldn't get going after that and they were rocked even further when Adam Keefe struck to add to the Giants lead at 34:42.

The Capitals did score through Gregg Collins 24 seconds into the third period, but the two-goal lead was restored by Mark McCutcheon four minutes later and the Giants win was sealed when Darryl Lloyd scored an empty-net goal with just 14 seconds remaining.

Belfast Telegraph


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