The Stena Line Belfast Giants completed an emphatic 7-2 win over the Coventry Blaze Tuesday night on the road to claim two Elite League points and setup a ‘top of the table’ clash on Friday night at the Odyssey Arena when the league leading Braehead Clan come to Belfast.
The visitors started well and after only 3:18, they were in front – thanks to a powerplay goal by Craig Peacock, who was on hand to turn in a rebound following an Adam Keefe shot. However within 36 seconds the Blaze were level – Steven Goertzen scoring his 6th goal of the season, slotting the puck past Stephen Murphy in the Giants goal.
Although the Giants regrouped and continued to stamp their authority on the game and got their reward, regaining the lead at 7:27 with another powerplay effort, this time Jeff Mason with the finish, assisted by Ray Sawada and Robby Sandrock. Soon after it was 3-1 – and another special teams goal from Belfast with Calvin Elfring hammering home after unselfish pass from Evan Cheverie while on the penalty kill with Mark Garside sitting out a holding penalty.
The hosts, cheered on by a vocal home support, started the second period with a purpose, trying to claw back the deficit and drew Giants netminder into save after save, helping his side hold on to their two goal lead. Then, exactly 20 minutes after his first effort, Jeff Mason struck again, this time evenhanded, assisted by Darryl Lloyd and Mark Garside for his fourth goal of the season. However the Blaze cut into the Giants lead at 30:37, Ross Venus passing the puck into the back of the net after finding himself alone at the back post to end the second period scoring.
The final period saw the Giants exert their dominance, outshooting the Coventry Blaze 19-10 and close out a fine performance in the Sky Dome against the side currently occupying the fourth placed spot in the Elite League. Belfast opened the third period scoring with only 83 seconds on the clock, Evan Cheverie finishing well against his former team to give his side a four goal cushion, 6-2. Mike Kompon added his sixth and seventh goals of the season to wrap up a fine win on the road for the Giants, his first of the night coming at 50:45, assisted by Colin Shields and Davey Phillips – followed by a beautiful finish at 58:06 past Brian Stewart in the Coventry net to round off the scoring and give the Elite League champions a 7-2 win.
Coventry Blaze 2-7 Stena Line Belfast Giants
GAME OVER!! The hooter sounds & it's a 7-2 win for the Stena Line Belfast Giants. Next Game: Friday v Braehead in Belfast-Bring On The Clan!