Belfast Telegraph

Dwyer hits Giants hat-trick then thanks team as Steelers blunted

Belfast Giants 4 Sheffield Steelers 3

Patrick Dwyer
Patrick Dwyer
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Hat-trick hero Patrick Dwyer has lauded his team-mates after his treble led the Belfast Giants to a four-point weekend over bitter rivals the Sheffield Steelers.

The former Carolina Hurricanes winger scored the winner in overtime in Saturday's first game before notching the hat-trick in last night's narrow 4-3 win to secure all four points on offer for Adam Keefe's side.

Forward Darcy Murphy got the game-winner on Sunday as Belfast mounted a third period comeback to get the win which keeps pace with Elite League leaders the Cardiff Devils.

"(Scoring a hat-trick) is good from a personal standpoint, but that all stems from team play," praised Dwyer.

"I thought we played really well this weekend, we battled back a couple of times and we were able to get the job done, so that's a testament to the guys.

"It's nice to get a four point weekend like that in front of the fans, they deserve it and it's important to what we're trying to do down the stretch."

The Steelers should have taken the lead shorthanded early when a turnover allowed Stefan Della Rovere to pull the puck back in front for Justin Buzzeo but the winger fired wide.

And the Giants made them pay on the powerplay at 14:11 as Dwyer's pass was deflected by former Giants d-man Ryan Martinelli and went through goaltender Matt Climie's five-hole.

Indeed, the Sheffield netminder was busy as he needed to deny both Kyle Baun and Kendall McFaull, while at the other end Beskorowany did well to blank Robert Dowd and Evan McGrath.

The best chances in the middle period came for the Steelers, and Beskorowany was needed to blank Mark Matheson on another shorthanded breakway before breaking up a Buzzeo and Della Rovere two-on-one.

Dowd could have levelled just before the second intermission when Ben O'Connor's stretch pass sent him through but Beskorowany saved, while Climie was equally good when Jonathan Ferland shot on the backhand.

The Giants put themselves on the back foot, however, when Jim Vandermeer took a holding call just before the intermission, and McGrath struck at 41:14 when his one-timer found the twine.

All the chances were falling the way of the visitors by this point and they were unlucky not to scramble home the puck at the crease after a Martinelli slapshot, while John Armstrong and Dowd both had good chances saved.

Ironically, their go-ahead goal came when they were down a man, John Armstrong going on the shorthanded breakaway and firing past Beskorowany for their second of the game at 50:59.

But up stepped Dwyer to turn things around, the winger scoring twice in 33 seconds to put the Giants back in front, the first a laser of a shot from the right circle at 53:43, the second a beautiful dangled finish around Climie.

And the game-winner came courtesy of Darcy Murphy, the winger battling to win the puck from O'Connor on the blueline before firing a shot high over Climie's shoulder to give the hosts the crucial two-goal buffer.

Jonas Westerling made it a nervy finish with his powerplay goal with 47 seconds to go, with Climie on the bench, but the Giants held on.

Belfast Telegraph

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