Photos by Helen Brabon
The Stena Line Belfast Giants secured second place in the Elite League standings with a 5-3 away win against the Cardiff Devils. The visitors never fell behind in the game and ensured they would finish second and face the Fife Flyers in the Playoff Quarter Final next weekend.
The opening period was scoreless with Devils netminder Tom Murdy the busier of the two netminders, turning away 11 shots in the first 20 minutes of action.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring as Colin Shields netted unassisted at 21:49. Blair Riley doubled the Giants lead to 2-0 at 25:56, assisted by James Desmarais and Chris Higgins.
With Referee Dean Smith sending both Blair Riley and Adam Keefe to the penalty box at 8:13, the visitors took full advantage. It was Layne Ulmer who pulled one back for the hosts, his powerplay goal was assisted by Patrick Asselin and Joey Haddad at 28:41.
The Giants restored their two goal advantage at 36:11 through Chris Higgins, assisted by James Desmarais and Blair Riley.
Blair Riley posted his second goal of the game at 44:10, assisted by Ryan Martinelli and Brandon Benedict, as the Giants took a 4-1 lead.
The Devils pulled one back yet again at 50:44 through Matthew Myers, assisted by Sean Bentivoglio and Scott Hotham. It was a one goal game at 59:10 when Layne Ulmer struck, assisted by Patrick Asselin and Joey Haddad.
James Desmarais ensured the Giants took the two points from Cardiff on Sunday with an empty net finish at 59:50.
The Giants return to action on Saturday 1st April for their final home game of the season, against the Fife Flyers in the Playoffs! Face-Off on Saturday is 7pm at The SSE Arena and tickets are on sale from the Box Office in person or by calling 028 9073 9084 as well as online at Ticketmaster.ie. The away leg vs Fife Flyers is still to be confirmed.
Cardiff Devils 3-5 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Giants Man of the Match
#79 James Desmarais