The Stena Line Belfast Giants moved into first place in the Elite League with a 7-6 overtime win on the road against the Dundee Stars on Sunday. In an action packed game, the short-benched Giants exchanged blow for blow with the Dundee Stars before skating out winners thanks to a Colin Shields overtime winner to complete his hat-trick.
With Jeff Mason and Mike Radja both missing Sunday’s game through injury, the Giants faced an uphill battle against the Stars after going the distance the previous evening by defeating the Braehead Clan on penalty shots.
However, the Giants opened the scoring after only 121 seconds, as Adam Keefe cut inside and fired a low shot into the bottom corner of the Stars net. Though little over five minutes later, the Dundee Stars drew level, Lou Dickenson the scorer at 7:18.
Craig Peacock gave the Giants a 2-1 lead at 8:12, pulling a nice move on Vlastimil Lakosil when one-on-one with the Dundee netminder. Again the Stars levelled at 11:47 as Justin Faryna followed in his own rebound to scoop the puck into the net and leave the score tied at 2-2 at the end of the first period.
Early in the second period, the visitors again took the lead as Kris Beech ripped a snapshot into the Stars net while shorthanded at 23:42. Yet again the Dundee Stars drew level and it was that man Faryna to notch up his second of the game at 30:30. Colin Shields grabbed his first goal of the night, with a fine powerplay strike at 31:56 as Curtis Leinweber sat in the penalty book for Hooking. However, the Stars tied up the game again with Lou Dickenson’s second of the game at 36:25 to leave both teams level at 4-4 after two periods.
Curtis Leinweber gave the hosts the lead for the first time on the night as he tipped the puck past Murphy at 51:17. With only 4:28remaining in the game, Colin Shields stepped up to pull the Giants level with a great shorthanded goal following a nice pass by James Desmarais. 5-5.
Then, with 1:08 to go, the Giants regained the lead as Craig Peacock scored his second of the night to give the visitors a commanding position. However, the home side had other ideas and, with 19 seconds on the clock and Lakosil pulled for an extra attacker – Doug Clarkson scored to take the game into overtime.
This was the seventh Giants game to go into overtime this season and the second in a many nights and the Giants pulled on previous experience to dominate the Stars throughout and it was Colin Shields, with 32 seconds to go, who fired the puck into the Dundee net to give the Giants a famous 7-6 win and move them top of the Elite League.
Dundee Stars 6-7 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Giants Man of the Match: