photos: Andy Gibson
The Stena Line Belfast Giants fell to consecutive defeats against the Sheffield Steelers with a 3-1 scoreline on Saturday night at The SSE Arena, Belfast. Despite the defeat the Giants remain in third place in the standings, five points behind the first placed Cardiff Devils with two games in hand on the Welsh side.
The home side began the game without top goalscorer Mike Radja as well as all time leading points scorer Colin Shields who were both out through injury. Although the Giants opened the scoring, with Brandon Benedict giving his side an early 1-0 lead with his eighth goal of the season at 2:29 assisted by Matt Nickerson and Derrick Walser.
The Sheffield Steelers hit back soon after through Jeff Legue, assisted by Rod Sarich and Jason Hewitt at 5:33 with both teams tied up at 1-1 at the end of an entertaining opening 20 minutes in Belfast.
Into the second period and with Referee Dean Smith sending Derrick Walser to the penalty box for Tripping at 27:44, the visitors took full advantage as Tyler Mosienko scored on the resulting powerplay at 29:17. Soon after, it was 3-1 as Mathieu Roy scored his 22nd goal of the season at 29:56 leaving the Giants with it all to do.
The Giants fought back in the third period, outshooting the Steelers 14-4, however they could not find a way past Marek Pinc in the Sheffield goal and the visitors saw out the game to earn a four point weekend in Belfast.
The Giants return to action next weekend on the road with back-to-back games against their Elite League title rivals. Friday 15th January sees the Giants face the Nottingham Panthers (7:30pm) with another away game the following day in Cardiff against the Devils (7pm).
Belfast’s next home games are Friday 22nd January and Saturday 23rd January at The SSE Arena, Belfast – both face-off at 7pm.
Stena Line Belfast Giants 1-3 Sheffield Steelers
Giants Man of the Match
#23 Mitch Ganzak
— Love Belfast ❤️ (@love_belfast) January 9, 2016