Belfast Telegraph

Sylvestre at double again as Belfast Giants win in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Capitals 5-6 Belfast Giants

By Stuart McKinley

Sebastien Sylvestre scored a double for the second night in succession to give Adam Keefe his first back-to-back wins as Belfast Giants coach.

After cracking home a brace in the Giants' 7-4 win over the Dundee Stars on Saturday night, the Canadian-born forward followed that up with two more strikes as they notched another two Challenge Cup points with a 6-5 victory away to the Edinburgh Capitals.

The Giants had to earn their victory after trailing 1-0 at the end of the first period before having to fend off a late fightback by the Capitals, with Sylvestre's second goal of the night, with just over 12 minutes to go, proving decisive.

There was little to separate the teams in the early part of the game and the Giants were given what they thought was a good opportunity to break the deadlock when a penalty against Edinburgh's Michael D'Orazio put them on the powerplay after 11 minutes.

The Capitals turned the tables though, 19 seconds before they were due to return to full strength when they took the lead, with Alexander Islamov scoring short-handed after being set up by Juris Upitis at 12:53.

The Giants were level within 58 seconds of the start of the second period. Colin Shields, on his 600th Elite League appearance, combined with Steve Saviano to set up Sylvestre to score.

Edinburgh regained the lead at 26:29 after Mike Cazzola set up Dylan Anderson to finish.

The Giants then took control of the game with four unanswered goals to take a 5-2 lead at the end of the second period.

First Spiro Goulakos levelled the scores at 2-2 a minute later and then after a spell where play was broken up with a number of penalty calls Brendan Connolly set up Cole Jarrett to score on the powerplay and give the Giants the lead for the first time in the game.

Shields then marked his landmark appearance with a goal at 37:45, finishing off after being set up by Sylvestre.

The Giants were really on top when Darcy Murphy hit the fifth with 1:24 to go in the period.

There was more to come, however, in a thoroughly entertaining game as suddenly Edinburgh cut the lead to just a single goal within four minutes of the third period.

With Ryan Martinelli in the penalty box Cazzola and D'Orazio combined to set up Taylor Stefishen to finish at 43:06 and just 46 seconds later Cazzola himself scored to really get the Capitals back into the game.

Comeback hopes were hit four minutes later though when Sylvestre took the puck and netted unassisted on the powerplay to put a two-goal margin between the teams.

D'Orazio did score on a five-on-three powerplay with just over five minutes to go to reduce the arrears again, but the Giants stayed strong and saw out the remaining time to secure the win.

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