Third period woe leads to shock Belfast Giants loss at hands of Clan
Glasgow Clan 4-2 Belfast Giants
The league-leading Belfast Giants suffered a shock defeat as they lost 4-2 to the Glasgow Clan at the Braehead Arena.
Three goals in the third period saw the Clan over the line to inflict a surprise loss on Adam Keefe's side, who were found wanting defensively not for the first time in recent weeks.
The Giants' lead at the top of the standings is now just two points, with the second-placed Cardiff Devils ominously lurking with two games in hand as well.
Both netminders made important saves early on, Belfast goalie Tyler Beskorowany denying Scott Pitt on a breakaway after a neutral ice giveaway before Clan backstop Joel Rumpel covered up a Hunter Bishop shot from the blueline.
Josh Roach hit the post on a shorthanded chance for the Giants before Glasgow scored to go ahead at the first intermission, Craig Peacock finishing off a rebound wraparound at 15:58.
The second period was all Belfast to start and, after Rumpel made a couple of smart saves, the visitors finally found the twine at 26:41 when Bishop deservedly got on the scoresheet with a wraparound on the breakaway.
Beskorowany then made a great double save from former Giants forward Brendan Connolly before Adam Keefe's side took the lead when Darcy Murphy forced the puck in at the crease at 36:25.
The Giants netminder then needed to be alert to deny goalscorer Peacock on a breakaway late in the second to take the league leaders in at the intermission ahead.
But the lead didn't last very long into the third as a horror show defensively allowed Peacock to level proceedings at 43:04, a miscommunication from the Giants' d-men handing the puck to the former Belfast favourite and he finished into the empty cage.
Belfast then had to watch as defenceman Guillaume Gelinas was helped from the ice with a nasty looking injury before both sides came close to breaking the deadlock.
It was the Clan who did, and again it was defensive errors that allowed them to score as the hosts got the breakaway and captain Zack Fitzgerald supplied the final touch at 50:32.
As hard as the Giants tried to get a late equaliser, they couldn't find one, and defenceman Travis Erhardt added an empty netter at 58:51 with Beskorowany on the bench to seal the result.
Man of the Match: Craig Peacock
Belfast Telegraph Digital