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Giants fire past Blaze to cap off perfect weekend

Coventry Blaze 2 Belfast Giants 4

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Key man: Belfast Giants’ Darcy Murphy celebrates with his team-mates

Key man: Belfast Giants’ Darcy Murphy celebrates with his team-mates

©William Cherry / Presseye

Key man: Belfast Giants’ Darcy Murphy celebrates with his team-mates

What a difference one weekend makes.

Seven days ago the Belfast Giants were stuck to the bottom of the Elite League table and down in the dumps after losing three of their first four games of the Elite League campaign.

Fast forward a week and three wins in three nights and six points later they have shot themselves up to fourth place and are very much in the title race.

Back-to-back wins in the home double-header against Milton Keynes Lightning on Friday and Saturday gave some momentum to Adam Keefe's team and a 4-2 victory away to Coventry Blaze last night has them on a run of four wins in their last five games.

Trailing 1-0 with just over three minutes on the clock before being pegged back after going 2-1 ahead in the second period, the Giants took control with two quick-fire goals later in the period before shutting out a determined Blaze team in a scoreless third period.

It was Coventry who made the stronger start to the game and they took the lead a 3:22 with a well-executed goal. Nicolai Bryhnisveen shifted the puck to Ben Lake and after sending it on to Jake Hansen he received a return pass before beating Tyler Beskorowany with a shot into the net.

The Giants were only behind for 125 seconds before Darcy Murphy followed up Saturday night's hat-trick with the equalising goal.

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A penalty against Alex Nikiforuk gave the Giants a powerplay from which they took the lead at 27:05. Dwyer's fine slapshot finish beat Kopriva after Dustin Johner and Hunter Bishop had created the opening.

It was on a powerplay of their own that Coventry levelled at 34:40 - with the Giants just a single second away from a successful penalty kill.

Curtis Leonard had been punished for a cross-checking offence, and as he was preparing to return to the ice, Nicolai Bryhnisveen cracked a stunning first-time shot into the net.

This time the Giants' response was even quicker than after Coventry's first goal as they regained the lead just 80 seconds later. Josh Roach found Francis Beauvillier who sent the puck on to captain Blair Riley and he made it 3-2 by squeezing the puck between Kopriva's pads and into the net.

The Giants were on a role now and just 71 seconds later the points were secured.

Bishop sent the puck on to Johner and when he released Kyle Baun was on hand to poke it into the net from close range.

Coventry had the better of the third period, out-shooting the Giants 12-5 and testing Beskorowany's resistance, but even with pulling Kopriva with fully two minutes left on the clock they were unable to claw their way back into the game as the Giants made it a perfect six-point weekend.


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