The Stena Line Belfast Giants and visiting Cardiff Devils exchanged 1-0 victories this weekend at The SSE Arena.
The Giants edged out a 1-0 win on Saturday night and then the Devils got their revenge on Sunday with a 1-0 win of their own. The loss snapped the Giants’ three-game winning streak and represented their first shutout loss at home in league play this season.
The Giants remain in third place, two points behind the Cardiff Devils, on 50 points though the Welsh side have played two games less. The Sheffield Steelers remain in first place with 57 points from 41 games.
Shane Owen started in the Belfast net and posted 19 saves with the Giants missing Liam Reddox.
The game got off to a fiery start as mid-way through the first period Liam Morgan dropped the gloves with former Giants captain Blair Riley for a centre-ice scrap. Morgan held his own against the veteran Riley, getting in a few good hooks before the linesmen stepped in to break it up.
After getting shut out the night before, it would be the Devils who opened the scoring on Sunday evening. With Elgin Pearce sitting in the penalty box for holding, Joey Haddad took a cross-zone pass and fired it past Shane Owen. The refs went to review the goal for possible goaltender interference, but it stood as Owen was bumped while standing outside of the crease.
Cardiff would carry that 1-0 lead into the first intermission but Belfast held a slight 7-6 edge in shots on goal.
After grabbing their 1-0 lead, the Devils shifted to a defensive focus, playing for the tight win. Cardiff shut the Giants down in the second period, managing to keep the puck to the outside while limiting the quality chances Belfast was able to generate.
The Giants got their best chance to tie the game up in the middle of the third period when Devils forward Masi Marjamaki took a five-minute major for throwing a hit to the head of David Goodwin. The Giants generated multiple chances on the man-advantage but weren’t able to solve Cardiff goaltender Ben Bowns.
Belfast would also manage multiple scoring chances in close in the dying moments of the game with the goalie pulled, but they couldn’t manage to get the puck across the line. The Devils would skate away with a 1-0 victory.
Stena Line Belfast Giants 0-1 Cardiff Devils
Player of the Game
#21 Liam Morgan
Next Up?The Giants face the Manchester Storm on Saturday 15th February in Belfast before facing the Panthers in Nottingham on Sunday 16th February – the first of four straight away games before returning home for the Guildford Flames double header on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th February. Tickets are available online now at ticketmaster.ie.