Belfast Telegraph

Riley quick off mark as Giants lift trophy after beating Clan

By Stuart McKinley

Derrick Walser has claimed his first silverware as Belfast Giants coach after his team beat Braehead Clan 5-3 in Glasgow.

It may only be the pre-season Intu Cup, but the success will boost confidence in the Giants ranks ahead of next weekend's Challenge Cup opener against the Fife Flyers.

Blair Riley scored his first goal for the club after arriving in Belfast only last week as an understrength Giants team - which was missing Walser himself as well as Chris Higgins, Jim Vandermeer, Alex Foster and Jackson Whistle who were all rested - overturned Saturday's 4-2 defeat to win on away goals.

The Giants set to work early and were two goals to the good with just 11 minutes on the clock. Rutherford scored his first at 5:22 and Michael Forney doubled the lead with a powerplay goal on exactly the 11 minute mark.

Braehead were back in the game early in what turned out to be a whirlwind of a second period.

Daniel Ahsberg cut the deficit in half just three minutes after the restart, but the Giants were soon in control again.

Forney punished another misdemeanour when he scored his second powerplay goal of the night at 28:35 following good work by Ryan Martinelli before Riley made his mark on proceedings when he made it 4-1.

The Clan weren't about to roll over though and they produced a stirring finish to the period.

Matt Keith beat Stephen Murphy with a fine shot and then Ahsberg took his tally for the night to two goals a couple of minutes before the end of a frenetic period.

If Clan were hoping those two goals were going to spark a turnaround then those hopes were extinguished just 55 seconds into the third period when Rutherford netted his second to put the Giants 5-3 in front.

Clan did pressure the Giants goal late on and they even pulled goaltender Michal Zajkowski in the final stages, but the Giants held on to take the cup.

Belfast Telegraph


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