photos: Scott Wiggins

The Stena Line Belfast Giants fell to a 4-1 loss away to the Coventry Blaze on Saturday night in the Elite League. The loss was the Giants first in Coventry this season following two wins in as many months.

Chris Higgins’ goal with six minutes remaining proved to be too late and the Blaze rounded off the win with an empty net goal in the final minute.

The visitors began the game with Stephen Murphy in net and David Rutherford back in the lineup following a lengthy spell out through injury. However Alex Foster was an injury scratch as the Giants continued their run of injuries this season.

It was the Blaze who opened the scoring, however it came late in the period as Josh Godfrey’s shot squeezed into the Giants net with 49 seconds of the first period remaining. The opening goal came on the powerplay after the referee controversially sent Adam Keefe to the penalty box 11 seconds earlier for slashing.

At 32:13, it was 2-0 as Ross Venus doubled they home side’s lead, assisted by Stewart and Jorgenson. The Blaze kept the visitors at bay during three Belfast powerplays in the second period thanks in part to Brian Stewart in net.

Garrett Klotz made it 3-0 with 6:22 remaining in the game, however almost immediately the Giants hit back with their first goal of the game as Chris Higgins finished off a nice move following a well timed pass from the returning Rutherford.

However the Giants ran out of time and with 62 seconds remaining, Venus grabbed his second of the game with an empty net finish. Next up for the Giants is an away game in Nottingham on Sunday at 4pm.

Final Score
Coventry Blaze 4-1 Stena Line Belfast Giants

Giants Man of the Match
#31 Stephen Murphy