Murphy magic keeps Belfast Giants at summit
Edinburgh Caps. 0 Belfast Giants 5: The Belfast Giants made a Capital gain last night as a five-goal victory in Edinburgh kept them a point clear of the Sheffield Steelers at the top of the Elite League table.
Languishing at the bottom of the standings, the Scottish side had no answer to a slick Giants outfit as Stephen Murphy excelled between the pipes once again and added to the pain by shutting them out.
As well as having his goaltender in top form, another major positive for coach Doug Christiansen is that five different players put their names on the scoresheet.
After Tom Dignard got his first goal for the club, Benoit Doucet also netted in the first period. Robert Dowd struck in the second and further goals from Brock McBride and Ryan Crane give the scoreline a real one-sided look.
The Giants completely dominated proceedings from the off and once Dignard skated forward from defence and finished off the good work done by Derek LeBlanc and George Awada with eight minutes gone the signs were that it was going to be a long night for former Giant Nathan Craze in the Edinburgh goal.
Just four minutes later Doucet followed up his hat-trick in Saturday’s 7-2 Challenge Cup victory over Fife by doubling the lead.
Even when Edinburgh attempted to swing the momentum by sending Jozef Sladock to fight Adam Keefe in the closing stages of the first period, it had little impact on the game as shortly after the two players returned to the ice the Giants scored again.
Just three minutes of the second period had passed when Jeff Mason fed Dowd as he clocked up his seventh goal in just nine games.
Not to be outdone, Brock McBride also took his tally to seven when he scored unassisted as the Giants made it 4-0 with eight minutes remaining.
Far from taking their foot off the pedal the Belfast men fired 23 shots at Craze in the final 20 minutes.
And that domination yielded another goal in the final minute when Ryan Crane slotted in the fifth.
Sheffield kept the pressure on the Giants as they also recorded a 5-0 win, at home to Fife.
The Cardiff Devils hit five goals against Scottish opposition too, with a 5-2 win over Braehead.
Nottingham fought back from 2-1 down against the Hull Stingrays to win 3-2 and Coventry needed overtime to beat Dundee 4-3 after trailing 3-1.