Belfast Giants rustle up Clan double
Braehead Clan 1 Belfast Giants 2: Doug Christiansen and his Belfast Giants players toasted a double Scotch last night as they claimed back-to-back wins over Braehead Clan.
The Giants followed up Saturday night’s 5-2 win over the Clan at the Odyssey Arena by winning 2-1 in Glasgow.
And with the Cardiff Devils losing to Coventry Blaze the Giants have cut the gap at the top of the Elite League to just three points.
That now sets up a massive clash at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday night when the Devils come to Belfast for a match which doubles up as a crunch game in the race for the title as well as the first leg of the Challenge Cup semi-final.
“This was a massive, massive win for us,” said Christiansen, making no effort to play down the importance of the result.
“With Cardiff losing to Coventry that obviously helps us.”
Just when it looked like the first period would end scoreless the Giants grabbed the initiative and what a key goal it was.
There was just seven seconds left before the hooter sounded when Simon Lambert struck his 11th goal in just 16 games for the Giants after Mike Hoffman and Colin Shields had made the play.
Braehead had their best spell of the game in the second period, yet they were still only able to fire nine shots at Stephen Murphy’s goal.
They did manage to put one past him, with Bobby Chaumont finishing off a move involving Cody Bostock and Matt Haywood.
The Giants pulled off a repeat of their first period achievements when they took the lead for the second time, this time with nine seconds to go before the break.
Brandon Benedict and Colin Hemingway created the opening and defenceman Jeff Mason skated forward to fire the puck into the net.
“The big lesson that we’ve learned is that we have to go right to the end of the period, with our two goals came in the last ten seconds of the first and second periods,” said Christiansen.
“Goals at those times change the complexion of matches.”