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Ruthless second period helps Belfast Giants see off Glasgow Clan and get back to winning ways

Glasgow Clan 2-5 Belfast Giants

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Belfast Giants defenceman Kevin Raine (left) clashes with Glasgow Clan forward Chad Rau

Belfast Giants defenceman Kevin Raine (left) clashes with Glasgow Clan forward Chad Rau

Belfast Giants defenceman Kevin Raine (left) clashes with Glasgow Clan forward Chad Rau

Four goals in 98 seconds was ultimately the difference as the Belfast Giants rocked the Glasgow Clan for a 5-2 win at the intu Braehead Arena.

The Giants lit up Clan back-up Jordan McLaughlin four times inside the opening 4:12 of the second period, Ryan Lowney, Lewis Hook, Elgin Pearce and Liam Morgan all finding the twine as the Giants returned to winning ways.

British winger Hook snapped a 11-game scoreless streak by picking up a goal and an assist in the victory, while Jordan Smotherman also had a two-point night as Belfast returned to third in the Elite League table.

The Giants also got 35 saves from netminder Shane Owen, who continued his excellent recent streak between the pipes, but the ruthless offensive spell in the middle frame from the visitors was undoubtedly the key moment in the game.

Leading 1-0 at the first intermission, Adam Keefe's side came out energised at the start of the second period and, aided by a Linden Springer delay of game penalty, they kicked off their middle frame scoring when Lowney lashed one in from the right circle on the powerplay at 2:34.

That was quickly followed by Hook snapping his barren spell when he bobbled one in just 14 seconds later, with Pearce adding the third of the second period another 25 seconds after that, cutting in from the boards to snap home from the slot to make it 4-0.

Morgan rounded off the scoring 59 seconds after that on the delayed penalty, tapping in the rebound off Kevin Raine's initial shot to ensure the Giants would improve to 21-12-2 and maintain the gap to the league-leading Sheffield Steelers at seven points.

With a trip to the Steelers to come on Sunday afternoon, in what is quickly looking like behind a must-win tie for Keefe's side, picking up the two points in the first game of the weekend was essential, but Belfast didn't disappoint.

They did do it the hard way, however, having to spend an incredible 12:05 on the penalty kill in the first period, yet somehow emerging with the lead after the opening 20 minutes when Brian Ward put them ahead by finishing on the powerplay at 10:49.

Belfast then lost Ward for the remainder of the game when he took a major penalty for spearing - which could rule him out of the trip to Sheffield - but that didn't hinder their offense, which came to life in the opening quarter of the second period.

The Clan did pull a goal back before the second intermission when Marcus Jonsson potted his first goal since joining the Scots at 7:50 of the second period with a nice finish from the top of the right circle to give them life heading into the final frame.

That then became a glimmer of hope when Matt Beca deposited a rebound on the powerplay - Lowney off for boarding for the Giants - to make it 5-2 at 2:46 of the final period, but that was to be as good as it got for the hosts.

They did have a goal washed out by video review with 4:44 left to play, the referees ruling that Owen had been interfered with as the puck was put in the net, ensuring Belfast would coast to the two points without any late drama.

The Giants went 2-for-4 on the powerplay, punishing the Clan when they were penalised, while shutting down their own indiscipline, particularly in the first period, by running their penalty kill at 6-for-7 on the night.

The Giants are at the flyDSA Arena on Sunday afternoon (4pm) for a top-of-the-table meeting with the Sheffield Steelers (25-11-1, 51pts, 1st) in what could be a season-defining game for the defending league champions.

Belfast Telegraph