The Stena Line Belfast Giants fell to a second defeat in as many nights against the Cardiff Devils on Sunday, losing out 5-3. The Devils led from early on, however with the game tied at 3-3 going into the final period, the Giants will be frustrated not to have taken something from this game or from the weekend as a whole. Although the result did not go their way, it was courageous performance from the visitors, who were only able to ice 14 out-skaters with Murphy, Garside, D.Phillips and Saurette all missing through injury.
The Giants looked a determined side from the off, dominating the opening stages of the game, however they hit a setback with only 5 minutes gone with Joey Haddad stepping inside in the Giants zone and firing low into the net to opening the scoring with the home side’s first shot-on-goal in the game. Seconds later, Carsen Chubak was called into action again, this time making a nice save from a Jesse Mychan penalty shot. However, moments later, Mychan and the Devils got the better of Chubak, with his pass across the front of the net hitting Walton and deflecting into the Giants net to give the Devils a 2-0 lead.
However, the Giants regrouped following a timeout call by Steve Thornton and soon after, they got their reward with the impressive Mike Kompon handling the puck around the net and shooting in front with Ray Sawada stabbing home at 12:49 to open his team’s scoring.
Although soon after, the Devils regained their two goal lead, this time it was Joey Martin who fired past Carsen Chubak from the point. Then, with 62 seconds remaining in the first period, Kevin Westgarth fed the puck out in front of the net and found Adam Keefe who shot home to pull the score back to 3-2 at the end of an busy opening 20 minutes.
The second period saw only one goal and it went the way of the visitors who had a stranglehold of the game at this point. The game tying goal came shorthanded from Jeff Mason, whose nice spin-o-rama move fired the puck past Ben Bowns in the Devils’ net, assisted by Ray Sawada at 29:25.
With the game poised at 3-3 heading into the third and final period, both teams knew that the first goal could be crucial and with 76 seconds gone, the puck found the back of the net. Unfortunately for the Giants, it was for the hosts, with Andrew Hotham scoring, assisted by Josh Batch and Andrew Lord at 41:16. Then, at 47:42, the Devils extended their lead, with Player Coach Andrew Lord shooting high and past Chubak – a goal proving to be the final nail in the coffin, with the home side closing out the game to earn their second win in as many nights against the Giants.
Cardiff Devils 5-3 Stena Line Belfast Giants
A GIANT Congratulations to Colin Shields who, following last night’s goal, is now our all-time leading goal scorer!!!
The win sees the Cardiff Devils move above the Stena Line Belfast Giants in the Elite League standings – who drop to 5th position, six points behind first place. The Giants are next in action next Saturday in Hull and Sunday in Nottingham against the Panthers. The next home games are Friday 19th December and Saturday 20th December – both against the Coventry Blaze at the Odyssey Arena, face-off 7pm. Good seats for both games are still available and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster, on the phone by calling (028) 9073 9074 or in person at all Ticketmaster Outlets/Odyssey Arena Box Office.
photos by Helen Brabon: copyright