photo by Andy Gibson
The Stena Line Belfast Giants won 4-1 in Fife on Tuesday night to move within three points of the first placed Cardiff Devils and Sheffield Steelers with six games still to play. Two goals from Kris Beech as well as strikes from Michael Forney and Mike Radja gave the Giants the two points against the Flyers.
Belfast began the game without Matt Nickerson, Mark Garside, Johan Ejdepalm and Brandon Benedict however they dominated the opening 20 minutes – spending most of the period camped inside the Flyers zone as the Giants piled on the pressure from the off. Indeed, the shot count was 17-5 in the Giants favour following the first period.
The Giants broke the deadlock late in the first period as Michael Forney slammed the puck into the Flyers net with 90 seconds remaining on the clock. Forney’s goal, assisted by Jim Vandermeer and Derrick Walser, was his 21st of the season and scored on the powerplay after Ryan Dingle sat in the Penalty Box for a Goalie Interference call by Referee Cowan.
Into the second period and with only 56 seconds gone, it was Kris Beech with his 22nd goal of the season to double the Giants lead, assisted by Chris Higgins. Once again, David Brown in the Fife net was called into action repeatedly as the Giants controlled most of the period, however play was broken up with five powerplays to the home side.
Michael Dorr took full advantage of a Flyers powerplay early in the third period to bring his side to within one as he scored at 41:21. However the home side’s joy was short lived as the Giants restored their two goal advantage thanks to Kris Beech’s second of the game, on the powerplay, at 44:26.
It was 4-1 at 49:18 as Mike Radja cooly finished off at the back post to squeeze the puck past Brown and leave the home side chasing a three goal deficit.
Next up for the Giants is a vital Elite League clash against the Braehead Clan on Saturday night at The SSE Arena, Belfast, face-Off 7pm.
Fife Flyers 1-4 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Giants Man of the Match:
#79 James Desmarais