Two Blair Riley goals in the final two minutes of this Challenge Cup Group A clash saw the Giants win their 1,000th ever game and complete a second successive four point weekend. With the Giants tied at 3-3 with the Dundee Stars, Riley got the go ahead goal with 77 seconds remaining before rounding off the win with an empty net finish with 10 seconds on the clock.
The win, which follows Saturday’s 3-1 home victory against Edinburgh, sees the Giants leapfrog the Dundee Stars into first place in Challenge Cup Group A with six points from four games.
Sunday’s eight goal thriller began with the Giants taking control of the game in the opening period. Derrick Walser was the first name on the scoresheet with his snapshot ripping into the top corner of the Dundee net while on the powerplay at 13:42.
Less than two minutes later the Giants doubled their lead through David Rutherford as the visitors took a comfortable lead into the second period.
However less than two minutes into the second period Felix Antoine Poulin scored shorthanded to bring the home side to within one. At 25:37 the Giants restored their two goal advantage as Chris Higgins finished well, assisted by Blair Riley and Derrick Walser.
Although again the hosts fought back and Cale Tanaka made it a one goal game at 26:57 with a powerplay goal. Then, with 75 seconds remaining in the second period, Vinny Scarsella tied it up at 3-3 with all to play for in the final period.
The third period was deadlocked with both sides matching each other in end to end action. However it was the Giants who got the breakthrough as Blair Riley brought the puck into the Dundee zone and fired low past Fallon in the Dundee net with 83 seconds to go in the game, assisted by Brandon Benedict and Michael Forney.
Right from the following face-off, the home side then pulled netminder Fallon for the extra attacker and it was Steve Saviano who found Blair Riley for his second of the game, an empty net goal, at 59:49.
The Giants return to action with a home game on Saturday 24th August against the Dundee Stars, face-off at The SSE Arena is 7pm. The following night sees the Giants travel to Scotland once again, this time to face the Braehead Clan at 6pm.
Dundee Stars 3-5 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Giants Man of the Match
#43 Derrick Walser
The Stena Line Belfast Giants win our 1,000th ever game!!!!
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) September 18, 2016