The Stena Line Belfast Giants defeated the Cardiff Devils in a thrilling clash on Friday at The SSE Arena. With the game poised at 1-1 after the opening two periods, the Giants found a way to defeat the reigning champions and current league leaders. Both sides meet again in Belfast on Saturday.
Goals from Johner, Smotherman, Murphy and Riley helped the Giants claim an impressive win and move a solitary point behind the Devils at the top of the standings.
Tyler Beskorowany backstopped the Giants to Friday’s win against the Devils with the home side missing Guillaume Gelinas, Pat Dwyer Ferland and Andrew Dickson.
Giants And Devils Trade Blows
It was the hosts who opened the scoring in this crunch game at 3:22 when Darcy Murphy rounded the Devils defence and found Dustin Johner in space at the back post.
Cardiff hit back at 13:26 when Joey Hadded was on hand to fire home after good work from behind the net by Layne Ulmer.
Middle Period Stalemate
The second period was littered with penalties however both netminders, Beskorowany and Bowns, stood firm – leaving it all to play for in the final 20 minutes.
Final Period Frenzy In Belfast
Jordan Smotherman fired the Giants infront again at 48:19 with a fine solo effort to finish high into the Devils net on the powerplay.
The Devils equalised again – this time it was Gleason Fournier on the powerplay with a bullet from the blueline at 51:32, assisted by Joey Martin and Mike Hedden.
The Giants restored their one goal advantage at 53:37 when Darcy Murphy picked up his own rebound to shoot home from a tight angle.
Belfast made sure of the win at 59:00 when Giants Captain Blair Riley stole the puck from the Devils defenceman and deked Bowns to give the hosts a two goal advantage.
Stena Line Belfast Giants 4-2 Cardiff Devils
Giants Player of the Game
#14 Jordan Smotherman
The Giants return to the ice immediately for round #2 against the Cardiff Devils as the two sides meet again in Belfast on Saturday – face-off 7pm.
Tickets are now available from the Arena Box Office in person or by calling (028) 9073 9074 as well as online from ticketmaster.ie.