Giants are on the march again
Five different players got onto the scoresheet last night as the Belfast Giants slammed six goals past the Newcastle Vipers.
And in the process Ed Courtenay's side sent out a strong message to the rest of the league that their title challenge is very much on.
The Vipers were second in the table before last night's game and last weekend they became the first team to take points off Coventry Blaze in their own back yard.
All the other teams above the Giants won last night though, so they wee unable to make any impression on the top half of the table.
For the Giants to raid the Metro Arena in such comprehensive style is big sign that Courtenay's re-built side is going to be a force this season, despite the nightmare start they made to the season.
They have now won four of their last six league games and Courtenay also got his wish that the team would come out from the drop of the puck.
Within 14 minutes of the start they were 3-0 up and the Vipers were on the rack.
Peter Campbell struck a brace five minutes apart and when Leigh Jamieson added the third, with two Giants goals coming in the space of 21 seconds, it was always going to be a tough task for Newcastle to rescue something from the game.
Looking for a change in momentum Andre Payette then went into battle with Carlyle Lewis to the delight of the home crowd.
They did make a good start to the second period with Ben Storey pulling a goal back, but the three-goal advantage was restored little more than a minute later when Courtenay found the net off Campbell's assist.
Even when Newcastle reduced the arrears again seconds after the midway point of the game there was an almost instant response from the Giants.
Former Giant Colin Shields got the Vipers goal on the powerplay, only for Carlyle Lewis to make it 5-2 39 seconds later.
With the game then delayed due to a problem with the plexiglass the second period was cut short and 25 minutes played in the third.
Newcastle were quickly out again and Shields was involved in his side's third goal, as the Vipers threatened to set-up a thrilling third period, with Derek Campbell providing the final touch.
Any hopes they had of making it a grandstand finish were all but killed off three minutes into the final session when Scott Cameron - on a powerplay - got his first goal since returning from a broken ankle to make it six of the best for the Giants and give the team a confidence boost.