The Stena Line Belfast Giants got their Continental Cup campaign off to a winning start with a 4-1 win against the Tilburg Trappers of the Netherlands on Friday afternoon. In a game dominated by the Giants from start to finish – the Elite League champions fully deserved the three points and will move intoSaturday’s game against CSKA Sofia in high spirits.
The Giants opened their European campaign with a dominant first period performance – creating numerous goal scoring opportunities and outshooting the Tilburg Trappers 17-8. With Trappers netminder Ian Meierdres in fine form, the Giants were frustrated for long spells, however the breakthrough came at 15:59. With the Giants on the powerplay following referee Milan Novak calling Trappers #91 Nick de Ruijter for slashing, it was the Captain – Adam Keefe who found the net, assisted by Darryl Lloyd and Calvin Elfring.
The second 20 minutes was a familiar story – with the Elite League champions dominating from start to finish, only this time they were rewarded more for their efforts. The Giants took a 2-0 lead at 28:45, with Mark McCutcheon registering on the scoresheet with a nice solo effort, squeezing the puck in at the back post. Then only 52 second later, it was 3-0 – this time it was Defenceman Cody Brookwell who fired home, assisted by Colin Shields and Kevin Phillips. The fourth goal followed soon after, at 34:16, on the powerplay thanks to Mike Kompon, assisted by Robby Sandrock.
The Giants closed out their opening Continental Cup game in the final 20 minutes of the game including a few important penalty kills. Stephen Murphy stood tall in the Giants net, pulling off a string of important saves to keep the Giants 4 goal lead. However, the Tilburg Trappers found a way past Murphy at 56:11 with Jurryt Smid firing home from close range.
Final Score in Bremerhaven:
Tilburg Trappers 1-4 Stena Line Belfast Giants
AUDIO: Post-Match reaction from Steve Thornton, Head of Hockey Operations, following today's 4-1 win! https://t.co/zURTYkvWN2