Powerful stuff from Belfast Giants
Belfast 3-2 Cardiff: The best powerplay in the Elite League delivered two late goals last night to move the Belfast Giants three points clear of the Nottingham Panthers at the top of the Elite League table.
After falling behind with only 11 seconds on the clock the Giants needed two goals in the last 15 minutes to defeat the Cardiff Devils in a pulsating and dramatic game at the Odyssey Arena.
There was no travel weariness from the Devils as they came out flying and hit the Giants with a goal straight from the off.
Caught cold, Stephen Murphy sent the initial shot back into the area in front of his crease and Stuart MacRae skated onto the puck before firing it into the net with just 11 seconds gone.
The setback rocked the Giants, but they regrouped and began to dominate the first period.
Although there were only 12 shots recorded inside the 20 minutes of play - seven for the Giants and five for the Devils - it was the Belfast men who pushed harder for the goal to get themselves back into the game.
With no goals to celebrate the biggest cheer from the home crowd during the opening period came when Darryl Lloyd put in a big hit on Devils' tough guy Brad Voth, putting him into the boards.
The second period was another tale of Giants dominance. This time, however, the shots were more of a test for Cardiff goaltender Stevie Lyle. Mark Garside tested him from the right and Lloyd went close after collecting a great pass from Ryan Crane, but even a massive scramble right in front of the Cardiff net failed to bring about an equaliser.
Craig Peacock finally found an equaliser for the Giants with just 86 seconds of the second period to go. The puck broke to him after Lyle had made a save and the Englishman's shot rippled the net.
As it turned out the Giants were on level terms for less than four minutes as Cardiff regained the lead just over two minutes into the third period when Scott Dobben netted from right.
The Giants were far from out of it though as just four minutes later Peacock struck again on the powerplay to level matters.
Suddenly the Giants had momentum and took total control. Jeremy Rebek rang the pipework before the goal that won the game from Tom Dignard with just seven minutes to go.