Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Giants are left frustrated as fightback fails to produce win

Belfast Giants 4-5 Nottingham Panthers

By Stuart McKinley

A stirring comeback was ultimately in vain as the Belfast Giants suffered a third successive Elite League defeat.

They did take a point from the 5-4 overtime loss to the Nottingham Panthers, but it was the nature of the loss that hurt most.

Trailing 4-2 in the third period, the Giants scored twice in eight minutes to take it into overtime, only for Dan Spang to win it for the Panthers.

A powerplay looked to have given the Giants the perfect opportunity to break the deadlock, but Alexander Mokshantsev stole the puck and raced through to net at 7:24.

The Giants rallied and the equaliser came at 16:53 when Colin Shields added another goal to his record tally. Then, Darcy Murphy produced a cool finish.

Ryan Martinelli and Brendan Connolly were in the box when Mathieu Brisebois brought the teams level at 35:21 and Connolly was still there when Mark Derlago scored bang on the 36 minute mark.

The Panthers then struck a third goal in less than three minutes after Connolly was punished for slashing and Evan Mosey took out full punishment by scoring a solo effort at 38:02.

The Giants were quick off the mark at the start of the third period and exactly 60 seconds in, Spiro Goulakos dug the puck out from behind the goal and Sebastien Sylvestre met it in style.

It was another seven and a half minutes before the Giants levelled when captain Blair Riley tipped in Martinelli's shot.

The Giants piled on the pressure, but couldn't get a winner before the end of regulation time.

Again the Giants took the game to the Panthers in overtime, but were frustrated by Mike Garnett for two and a half minutes before Zack Phillips broke forward and set up Spang.

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