Belfast Telegraph

Perfect 10 for Keefe's relentless Giants

Belfast Giants 10 MK Lightning 4

By Stuart McKinley

Belfast Giants fans were treated to a midweek goal-fest as their team hammered a massive 10 goals past Milton Keynes Lightning.

Brendan Connolly, Steve Saviano and David Rutherford all scored twice, with Colin Shields, Blair Riley, Jim Vandermeer and Sebastien Sylvestre also on the mark to help the Giants back into third place in the Elite League table.

However, there could be further repercussions from the game too after Vandermeer - who was just returning from injury - became involved in a fight with Lightning's Francis Verreault-Paul after the final buzzer.

With a handful of players missing Giants coach Adam Keefe took the opportunity to hand ice time to local youngsters Adam Robinson and Stephen Eccles.

There was no sign of what was to come when Milton Keynes took the lead after three and a half minutes when Kevin King's shot into the roof of the net beat Chris Truehl.

The Giants were on level terms five minutes later when Connolly diverted Sylvestre's effort into the net and a minute before the end of the first period they were in front after Connolly turned provider for Shields, whose stunning shot found the top corner of the net.

The second period belonged to the Giants, with four unanswered goals all but securing the points.

Two goals from Saviano - either side of what looked like a perfectly legitimate goal being chalked off - put the Giants firmly in the driving seat.

First he finished off a pass from Dustin Johner at 25:57 and then he pounced on a loose pass and broke away to score short handed at 34:55.

A low finish from Rutherford put the Giants 5-1 up at 36:12 and he then set up Riley who fired high for the sixth with 55 seconds of the second period to go.

Lightning responded from that pounding with a goal from Denny Kearney 55 seconds into the third period, but the Giants came back with three more goals to move out of sight.

Rutherford got his second to restore the five-goal advantage at 41:26 and then two goals in 59 seconds just after the midway point of the second period, from Connolly and Vandermeer, put the Giants 9-2 up.

Milton Keynes still had some fight in them, with Lewis Hook netting at 52:56, but the Giants weren't done as Sylvestre took their tally to double figures just 40 seconds later.

With 53 seconds to go Ben Foster hit a fourth for Lightning, but they were already well beaten.

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