Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Giants blitzing way to the top

By Stuart McKinley

Sheffield Steelers 5 Belfast Giants 6: Doug Christiansen last night claimed that the immense firepower in his Belfast Giants team is causing major headaches after the opened up a three-point gap at the top of the Elite League table.

Five different players scored in the 6-5 victory over the Sheffield Steelers and after Saturday night’s 5-2 triumph at home to the Cardiff Devils saw the goals shared among four members of his team, Christiansen is delighted that his marksmen are firing.

And the 11-goal haul at the weekend came without Colin Shields — who had ended his early season goal drought by netting three times in two games — adding to that run, although he did claim four assists.

“What makes our team dangerous is the different attacking weapons that we have,” said Christiansen.

“We have a lot of guys in the team who are capable of scoring goals and the different match-ups make it hard for other teams to deal with us.

“They have to try to work out which line to try to stop, but if they stop one then there’s another one and another one that can hurt them.

“I think the one thing that we have in abundance is depth and we need that to be successful.”

The Giants have been flying out of the blocks in recent games and they took the lead last night through Mark Garside with only 73 seconds on the clock.

A powerplay gave Ashley Tait his opportunity to level matters, but two powerplay strikes from the Giants — courtesy of Josh Prudden and Brett Hemingway — in the space of two minutes put the Belfast men in the driving seat.

The lead was stretched to 4-1 by Jon Gleed two minutes into the second period, but then came a spell when the Giants took their foot off the gas a little too much for Christiansen’s liking.

Robert Dowd and Ben Simon — on a powerplay — struck for the Steelers and after Prudden and Mike Bayrack scored for the Giants within a few minutes either side of the second break the Steelers rallied.

Rod Sarich narrowed the advantage within 30 seconds and with eight minutes to go another powerplay goal, this time from Jeff Legue, made the Giants sweat.

Despite conceding another powerplay in the last minute of the game, the Giants held on to go three points clear of the Steelers.

“There is still lots of room for improvement in our team,” said Christiansen.

“We shouldn’t be letting a team back into the game on the road after going 4-1 up. We shouldn’t have given them the chances that we did. We’re top, but the main thing is getting results.”

Belfast Telegraph


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