The Stena Line Belfast Giants advanced to the Playoffs Final Four weekend thanks to Sunday’s 4-1 road win in Fife. Sunday’s victory follows Saturday’s 4-2 home win meaning the Giants defeat the Fife Flyers 8-3 on aggregate.
The Giants now advance to the Finals Weekend in Nottingham to face the Sheffield Steelers in the Semi-Final next Saturday.
The Giants began the game without David Rutherford, Jeff Mason and Jackson Whistle with Alex Foster returning to the lineup and Stephen Murphy starting in net.
Matt Nickerson opened the scoring at 11:05, assisted by Brandon Benedict to give the Giants a 1-0 lead on the night and a three goal advantge in the tie.
The visitors equalised early in the middle period when Ryan Dingle scored unassisted at 23:50. However the Giants hit back through Blair Riley at 35:55 with a powerplay goal, assisted by Chris Higgins and Michael Forney, to restore the Giants lead.
That lead was extended right at the end of the second period to give the visitors a 3-1 lead on the night and a 7-3 advantage overall. The Giants third goal came from Chris Higgins, again on the powerplay, unassisted at 39:45.
Into the final period and Blair Riley netted another insurance goal for the visitors at 44:06, assisted by Chris Higgins and Michael Forney. Riley’s goal completed the scoring in the Playoff Quarter Final clash against the Flyers with the Giants winning 4-1 on the night.
The Giants will now face the Sheffield Steelers in the Semi-Final on Saturday 8th April, face-0ff 5pm, at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham. Cardiff Devils will face the Dundee Stars in Saturday’s other Semi-Final, face-off 1pm, with the winners of both games making up the Grand Final on Sunday 9th April, face-off 4pm. The two losing Semi-Finalists will face-off at 12pm on Sunday in the Bronze Medal game.
Final Score (Aggregate Score in Brackets)
(3) Fife Flyers 1-4 Stena Line Belfast Giants (8)
Giants Man of the Match
#68 Chris Higgins