The Stena Line Belfast Giants suffered double heartbreak in Saturday’s Champions Hockey League with Bobby Farnham’s late goal waved off by the referees before Matthew Fraser netted 31 seconds into overtime for Augsburger.
Giants goals from Jordan Smotherman and Patryk Wronka earned the hosts a point which sees Belfast sit joint first on four points in Group C alongside Augsburger as well as 2015 Champions, Lulea of Sweden.
It was yet another memorable night of European hockey in Belfast. The home fans combined with Augsburger’s travelling contingent made for an electric atmosphere in the Giants second game of their inaugural Champions Hockey League campaign.
The Giants will now go on the road for two road games next week against Liberec and Augsburger. Shane Owen started in the Belfast net, posting 43 saves, with the Giants missing the injured Jesse Forsberg.
Smotherman Cancels Out Augsburger Opener
Augsburger took an early lead in Belfast when Matthew Fraser struck at 6:48 with an even strength goal, assisted by Marco Sternheimer.
With Andrew LeBlanc called for Holding at 16:40, Jordan Smotherman pounced on Liam Morgan’s pass to shoot high into the Panther net at 17:24.
Wronka Grabs Go Ahead Goal
Patryk Wronka’s cool finish, assisted by Curtis Hamilton and Paul Swindlehurst, at 32:09 gave the home side a middle period lead.
Late Controversy Sends Game To Overtime
Augsburger equalised right at the beginning of the final period when Marco Sternheimer squeezed the puck past Owen at 43:18.
With 60 seconds remaining, the Giants thought they had snatched a winner when Bobby Farnham redirected the puck into the Panther net, only for the referees to wave it off following a lengthy video review.
Fraser Winner Breaks Giants Hearts
Just 30 seconds into overtime, Augsburg’s Matthew Fraser finished off a sweeping move to take their second win of the tournament.
Stena Line Belfast Giants 2-3 Augsburger Panther (Germany) (After Overtime)
The Giants Champions Hockey League campaign continues next Thursday and Sunday with away games against Liberec and Augsburger respectively.
Belfast’s next home game is Saturday 14th September – the opening night of the domestic season against the Glasgow Clan. Tickets are now available online now through ticketmaster.ie.