Belfast Giants captain Shields up and running again
Dundee Stars 2 Belfast Giants 4: Colin Shields proved true to his word last night by ending a frustrating wait for his first goal of the season.
The Belfast Giants captain promised fans in Saturday’s Belfast Telegraph that the goals would soon be flowing after he suffered an early season drought in front of the net.
And although it may be a while before he hits the kind of form that netted him 70 goals over the last two seasons, the Glaswegian is at least off and running.
Craig Peacock, Dan Welch and Brett Hemingway were also on the mark as the Giants hit four past the Dundee Stars, with the best that the Scottish side could offer in reply being two powerplay goals from Peter Cartwright — one being a second period equaliser with the second merely a late consolation effort.
After a comfortable 6-2 win over the Newcastle Vipers on Saturday night, the Giants took their goal tally for the weekend to 10 and that helped give them a perfect tally of four points to boot.
The back-to-back victories also catapulted Doug Christiansen’s side back to the top of the Elite League table ahead of a clash with the third placed Nottingham Panthers next Sunday.
The outcome of the game was decided inside six minutes during the second period, as the Giants banged in three goals.
That was after they had come out flying and took the lead with just 24 seconds on the clock.
Shields isn’t the only forward who has been off-form this season. Craig Peacock only had one goal to his name before last night, but he doubled his tally before the teams even had time to settle into the game, netting from an assist by Dan Welch.
It took the Giants until eight minutes into the second period before they found the net again, but all of a sudden there was a flurry of goals.
Peacock returned the favour for Welch to double the advantage and then, with Stars’ AJ MacLean sitting in the penalty box, the moment that Shields had been wait
ing for since the puck dropped on the season three weeks ago finally arrived.
Welch was involved again, as was Richard Seeley and Shields put the final touch to the move to get a rather weighty monkey off his back.
With the Giants now clicking through the gears they made the most of their next powerplay opportunity as well.
Brent Hughes was off the ice as tim Cook and Jon Gleed combined to set up the younger of the Giants’ Hemingway brothers and he made no mistake in dispatching the puck past Jerad Kaufmann.
Sean McMorrow, who had patrolled the Odyssey Arena ice as the Belfast Giants ‘Sheriff’ last season had only one significant impact on the game last night.
Recruited by the stars when Christiansen decided to look elsewhere for a tough guy, McMorrow landed himself a 10 minute misconduct penalty at the end of the second period.
The game was already in the bag when Cartwright scored his second goal with two minutes to go and there were no nervy moments for the Giants.
Christiansen will now look ahead to preparing al All Star team for Saturday’s glamour friendly with the Boston Bruins.