The Stena Line Belfast Giants opened their 2017/18 home campaign in style with a 6-4 win against the Guildford Flames. Over 6,000 fans cheered the Giants on to the opening night win at an electric SSE Arena.
Giants Opening Period Double
However the night began with a Guildford goal as Mikael Lidhammar scored on the powerplay at 5:41. The Flames’ lead lasted less than two minutes as Sebastien Sylvestre struck at 7:20 after Jonathan Ferland won the puck back in the Guildford zone.
Ferland turned from provider to scorer at 8:09 as the Giants struck on the power play assisted by Dustin Johner and Colin Shields.
Ben Davies equalised at 15:08 for the visitors to leave this Elite League game tied at 2-2 following the first 20 minutes of action.
The Giants began the middle period with back-to-back shorthanded goals. First Steve Saviano skated the puck the length of the ice and netted at 30:34, assisted by Colin Shields.
Then it was the turn of Dustin Johner to score while Guildford had the man advantage when he struck at 33:44, assisted by Brandon Benedict and Spiro Goulakos.
However John Dunbar pulled one back for the away side when his unassisted goal made the score 4-3 at 35:03.
Spiro Goulakos grabbed a powerplay goal right on the second period buzzer, assisted by Sebastien Sylvestre, with the puck crossing the goal line at 39:59.
Shields Extends Giants Lead
Into the final period and once again the Flames refused to lie down and pulled a goal back. David Lilliestrom Karlsson fired into the Giants net at 49:43 to make it a 5-4 game.
Then, at 51:23, Giants all-time leading scorer Colin Shields ripped home a slapshot, assisted by Steve Saviano, to give the home side a two goal cushion.
The Giants closed out the final minutes of the game to claim the two points on opening night in Belfast.
Stena Line Belfast Giants 6-4 Guildford Flames
Man of the Match:
#6 Spiro Goulakos
Next Up At Home?
The Stena Line Belfast Giants face the Dundee Stars on Saturday 16th September. Tickets for the game are now on sale and available online at ticketmaster.ie as well as from the Arena Box Office either in person or by calling (028) 9073 9074.