A double from winger Jordan Boucher helped the Belfast Giants to a comeback 5-1 win over the Fife Flyers in Kirkcaldy to complete a four-point Challenge Cup weekend in Scotland.
After their 6-3 win over the Dundee Stars on Saturday night, Adam Keefe’s side made it two wins from two on their return to action after 18 months off the ice as Boucher, Slater Doggett and Scott Conway all got their first goals in teal, while David Goodwin also struck in the win at the Fife Ice Arena.
Netminder Jackson Whistle got the start in nets and produced a 19-save performance to pick up his first win of the season, while former Giants netminder Shane Owen stopped 37 shots in the Flyers’ goal.
The Belfast Giants were on top for most of the first period, with former Owen saving Conway’s one-timer and then also denying Mark Cooper on a shorthanded breakaway as the visitors piled on the pressure.
But it would be Fife who would lead at the first intermission, when the puck broke free along the boards in the Giants’ zone and Greg Chase fired into the top corner over Whistle for the opening goal at 18:24. (1-0)
Despite conceding late in the first period, Whistle produced three superb saves to prevent Fife from increasing their lead, as he denied Matt Carter, Carson Stadnyk and Chase early after the restart, as the hosts pressed for a second.
But it would be the Giants who would strike next and it was a fine finish by Boucher, who was set into the zone by Sam Ruopp and rifled a shot high past Owen’s shortside for his first of the evening to level the scores at 25:58. (1-1)
The post denied Conway a goal of his own as the Giants looked to make their momentum count, but that miss wouldn’t cost them as a quickfire double to end the period had Keefe’s side two goals to the good at the intermission.
With the Flyers serving a too many men penalty, Slater Doggett tipped in Tyler Soy’s pass to the crease for the powerplay goal at 36:15 (1-2) and then David Goodwin got his third goal of the weekend when a fine pass along the boards from Jeff Baum set him through for the snapshot at 39:06. (1-3)
The powerplay clicked again early in the third when Chase headed off for tripping, and JJ Piccinich fired a pass to the backdoor for Conway to break his Giants duck at 48:59 and increase the lead to three. (1-4)
And the scoring was completed by Boucher at 51:17 when the winger doubled his personal tally for the night, skating down the boards before cutting inside and wrapping the puck around the sprawling Owen for a fine solo goal to end the game. (1-5)
The Giants return to Belfast for their home opener against the Dundee Stars on Friday, October 1, their first game at the SSE Arena since March 6, 2020. Remaining tickets are on sale now.