The Stena Line Belfast Giants staged an impressive comeback to defeat the Sheffield Steelers in overtime following a pulsating Elite League clash in Belfast.
Trailing 2-0 after the opening period – the Giants dominated the remainder of Saturday’s game in Belfast to down the Steelers in front of 6,000 fans at The SSE Arena.
Tyler Beskorowany started in the Belfast net with Chris Higgins, Guillaume Gelinas, Hunter Bishop, Matt Towe and Andrew Dickson missing for the Giants.
Steelers Double Stuns Giants
The visitors got off to the best possible start with a first period brace against the Giants. First it was John Armstrong who finished off a sweeping Steelers move at 15:07, assist by Ben O’Connor and Rob Dowd.
Little over one minute later and it was 2-0 when Anthony DeLuca scored unassisted at 16:31.
Giants Comeback In Middle Period
The Belfast comeback began at 29:52 when Blair Riley fired home, assisted by Jim Vandermeer.
Kyle Baun grabbed the equaliser with a power play strike at 33:07, assisted by Josh Roach and Pat Dwyer.
Jordan Owens edged the Steelers in front 40 seconds later when he and Josh Pitt combined to shoot low past Beskorowany.
Giants Pull Ahead Before Late Drama
David Rutherford pulled the hosts level at 42:07 with a classy finish, assisted by Kyle Baun.
At 55:05, with the Giants piling on the pressure, Blair Riley’s shot ripped into the back of the Steelers net to give the home side the lead for the first time on the night.
There was late drama as Rob Dowd, with Jackson Whistle pulled for an extra outskater, equalised for the Steelers with only 73 seconds remaining, assisted by Justin Buzzeo & Ben O’Connor.
Giants Clinch Win In Overtime
With 3:06 gone, Pat Dwyer scored the game winning goal to send The SSE Arena wild as the Giants won the opening game of the double header.
Stena Line Belfast Giants 5-4 Sheffield Steelers (After Overtime)
Giants Man of the Match
#39 Pat Dwyer
The Giants return to home action immediately on Sunday for their second game against the Steelers in as many nights at The SSE Arena.
The IIHF Continental Cup Final takes place the following weekend on Friday 11th, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th January when the Giants face HK Gomel (Belarus), GKS Katowice (Poland) and Arlan Kokshetau (Kazakstan) respectively.
Tickets for all of those games are available from the Arena Box Office all day Saturday, in person or by calling (028) 9073 9074 as well as online from ticketmaster.ie.