Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Giants have sinking feeling again as the Stars sparkle

Dundee Stars 2 Belfast Giants 0

By Adam McKendry

The Belfast Giants fell to a second shutout defeat of the weekend as they fell 2-0 to the Dundee Stars at the Dundee Ice Arena last night.

After their blowout loss to Cardiff on Saturday, Adam Keefe's men put in another below par performance as they failed to find the back of the net again in a pointless weekend as they lost ground in the Elite League table.

Again the Giants were missing defensemen Spiro Goulakos (concussion), Jim Vandermeer (suspension) and Kevin Raine (lower body) as their injury-depleted roster aimed to turn around a home loss.

However, they were again stifled by the Dundee rearguard, spearheaded by Canadian netminder Travis Fullerton, the former Edinburgh Capitals stopper making 28 saves for the shutout.

There was a positive for the Giants as their new netminder Chris Truehl made his first start and impressed, the American making 20 saves and taking the visitors' man of the match accolade, albeit in a debut loss.

But at the other end, Fullerton stole the show, and highlighted his ability with some excellent early saves in the first period.

Former Quinnipiac man Truehl was also holding out the hosts, who adopted an aggressive style in the offensive zone, but it was scoreless at the first intermission.

It wouldn't stay that way for long though, and it looked like it might be the Giants who would break the deadlock as both Sébastien Sylvestre and Brendan Connolly came close to scoring in the opening few minutes.

Instead, four minutes into the second period Dundee grabbed the opening goal, Riley Stadel feeding Johan Andersson who took the puck the length of the ice and outpaced the defence to finish coolly past Truehl at 24:55.

Fullerton continued to frustrate the Giants, the Canadian putting his body on the line as the visitors piled the shots on his goal in their search for an equaliser.

His forwards rewarded him with a second goal early in the third period, and this one belonged on the highlight reel.

Stadel was again involved, giving it to Gabriel Lévesque who in turn passed on to Brian Hart, the forward taking the puck over the blue line and ripping a slapshot in at 46:32 to double the Stars' lead.

Coming into the game Dundee sat second from bottom in the league standings, so a comeback was expected from the title chasing Giants, but it never came as the Stars shut down the game effectively.

Even with Truehl pulled late for an extra attacker in the final few minutes, the Giants could not find that dominance or, more importantly, the goals to force overtime.

Ultimately they couldn't beat the resolute Fullerton who weathered a very late Giants storm to complete a well-deserved shutout and earn the win.

It's a first defeat in six road games for the Giants, but it means they have a lot of work to do before the visit of conference rivals the Nottingham Panthers to the SSE Arena on Wednesday night.

Belfast Telegraph

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