Darcy Murphy’s dramatic late winner gave the Stena Line Belfast Giants a 6-5 win over the Coventry Blaze on Saturday night in Belfast.
Murphy skated coast-to-coast to fire into the top corner of the Blaze net at 58:32 to give the Giants an important home win and cut Cardiff’s lead at the top of the standings to three points.
Tyler Beskorowany backstopped the Giants to the win with the home side missing Guillaume Gelinas, David Rutherford and Andrew Dickson.
Giants Dominate In Opening Period
Jonathan Ferland opened the scoring at 8:27 with a cool shorthanded finish, assisted by Jim Vandermeer and Josh Roach.
Pat Dwyer doubled the hosts lead at 11:08, assisted by Mark Garside and Darcy Murphy, as the Giants took control halfway through the opening period.
Kendall McFaull squeezed the puck through the pads of Matt Hackett at 16:00, assisted by Paul Swindlehurst and Kyle Baun as Belfast took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission.
Blaze Battle Back In Middle Period
The Blaze battled back and pulled one back early in the middle period when Ben Lake stroke at 23:11, assisted by Shawn Pauly and Dominik Florian.
Dustin Johner restored the Giants three goal advantage at 30:54 with a powerplay effort, assisted by Darcy Murphy and Kyle Baun.
Alex Nikiforuk made it 4-2 at 32:33, assisted by Luke Ferrara and Kevin Morris, before a double from Shawn Pauly at 33:54 and 38:27 brought the Blaze level at the end of 40 minutes in Belfast.
Dramatic Final Period In Belfast
Ross Venus, shorthanded, edged the visitors in front for the first time in this Elite League clash at 48:19, assisted by Shawn Pauly and Justin Hache.
Josh Roach netted a classy equaliser at 51:37 on the powerplay, assisted by Dustin Johner and Colin Shields.
At 58:32, Darcy Murphy skated coast-to-coast to score a dramatic game winning goal, assisted by Curtis Leonard, to send the Belfast crowd wild.
Stena Line Belfast Giants 6-5 Coventry Blaze
Giants Player of the Game
#77 Josh Roach (1 Goal + 1 Assist)
The Giants return to the ice immediately with a 4pm clash on Sunday against the Nottingham Panthers.
Tickets are now on sale from the Arena Box Office in person or by calling (028) 9073 9074 as well as online from ticketmaster.ie.