The Stena Line Belfast Giants claimed their tenth major championship on Sunday, defeating the Guildford Flames 2-1 after overtime in the 2019 Challenge Cup Final.
Jordan Smotherman’s overtime winner saw the Giants retain a title for the first time in the organisation’s history – winning back-to-back Challenge Cup championships.
The Giants impressed on Sunday at The Viola Arena in Cardiff to give Head Coach Adam Keefe a second trophy in as many years in front of hundreds of loud travelling fans in Cardiff.
Tyler Beskorowany backstopped the Giants to the Challenge Cup win with the Belfast side missing Guillaume Gelinas, Jonathan Ferland and Andrew Dickson.
Honours Even In Opening Period
Both sides battled through a fast-paced first period in Cardiff. The Flames outshot the Giants thanks to a powerplay at the halfway point – impressively killed off by Tyler Beskorowany and the Belfast penalty kill unit.
Giants And Flames Trade Middle Period Blows
The Giants broke the deadlock in style in the opening minute of the middle period. Josh Roach found Pat Dwyer who ripped home a fierce wrist shot top shelf to give his side a 1-0 lead at 20:33.
The Flames grabbed an equaliser with the game’s second powerplay goal through Jamie Crooks, assisted by Brett Ferguson and Ben Davies at 36:38.
Tense Final Period
The third period was another end-to-end affair as both sides went in search of a winner. Both netminders Beskorowany and Carrozzi stood firm as the game went into a first period of overtime with Jonathan Boxill coming up with a huge block to stop the Flames from scoring a winner.
Smotherman Wins It In Overtime
The game went into it’s first period of 20 minutes of overtime and the Giants fought off an energetic Flames with Beskorowany making a string of impressive saves. The game winner came at 69:30 as Dustin Johner forced a turnover behind the Flames goal and fed the puck to Jordan Smotherman who shot home to clinch the 2019 Challenge Cup.
Giants Player of the Game
#34 Tyler Beskorowany
The Giants homecoming following the Challenge Cup victory comes this weekend with back-to-back home games against the Coventry Blaze in Belfast – face-off 7pm on Friday and Saturday.
Tickets are now available from the Arena Box Office in person or by calling (028) 9073 9074 as well as online from ticketmaster.ie