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Belfast Giants One Win From European Final After Ritten Victory

 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

The Stena Line Belfast Giants defeated Ritten Sport 6-2, the Italian champions, leaving them one win away from a place in the IIHF Continental Cup Final. Blair Riley scored the game winning goal in the middle period, his second of the game, to make it two wins in as many nights for the Giants following Thursday’s win vs Medvescak Zagreb.

The Giants now face GKS Katowice on Saturday, face-off 7pm at The SSE Arena, knowing a win will secure Belfast’s place in the Continental Cup Final in January.

Tyler Beskorowany started in the Belfast net with Colin Shields, Jonathan Ferland, Matt Towe, Andrew Dickson and Guillaume Gelinas missing for the Giants. The Giants win sees the Belfast side move into first place outright of the Semi-Final group following Medvescak Zagreb’s 3-2 victory over GKS Katowice of Poland earlier on Friday.

Ritten Hit Back After Giants Start Well

Pat Dwyer got the Giants off to the ideal start – squeezing the puck past Thomas Tragust in the Ritten net at 8:20, assisted by Curtis Leonard.

The Italian’s hit back with Simon Kostner equalising at 10:03, assisted by Andreas Lutz, before Alex Frei gave Ritten the lead 34 seconds later, assisted by Daniel Tudin.

Blair Riley pulled the Giants level at the end of the period when netminder Tragust spilled Darcy Murphy’s shot and the Captain slotted home at 18:49.

Belfast Establish Control In Middle Period

Riley doubled his tally on the night 92 seconds into the middle period to edge the hosts in front, assisted by Darcy Murphy and David Rutherford.

The Giants extended their lead to two at 33:09 when Francis Beauvillier fired home from a tight angle, assisted by Jim Vandermeer.

Belfast Dominance Pays Off

Added a fifth for the Giants, firing home at 45:01, assisted by David Rutherford and Blair Riley.

Jonathan Boxill rounded off the scoring at 51:30, assisted by Player of the Game Darcy Murphy.

Final Score
Stena Line Belfast Giants 6-2 Ritten Sport (Italy)

Giants Man of the Match
#15 Darcy Murphy (1 Goal + 3 Assists)

Photography
William Cherry
Next Up?
The Giants have another quick turnaround – facing GKS Katowice of Poland on Saturday, face-off 7pm at The SSE Arena. Saturday’s early game sees Ritten Sport take on Medvescak Zagreb at 3pm.
Tickets will be on sale all day Saturday at The SSE Arena Box Office, in person or by calling (028) 9073 9074) as well as online from ticketmaster.ie.
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