Belfast Giants Weather Storm With Late Riley Winner

Blair Riley’s game winning goal with 76 seconds remaining gave the Stena Line Belfast Giants an important road win against the Manchester Storm on Saturday. Riley’s strike at 58:44 was the difference in a tight away game against the Storm with Saviano adding an empty net goal at 59:48 as the Belfast side moved into first place.

Saturday’s win was an impressive road performance from the Giants who were missing Stephen Murphy, Dustin Johner, John Kurtz and Mark Garside through injury as well as the suspended Spiro Goulakos, Brendan Connolly and Jonathan Ferland.

The victory sees the Giants move into joint first place in the Elite League standings with 31 points from 24 games, level on points with the Cardiff Devils and Nottingham Panthers.

Manchester Storm Into First Period Lead

Mike Hammond opened the scoring on Saturday as he converted a 3-on-2, assisted by Matt Beca and Scott Pitt, at 14:42 to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

Giants Battle Back With Second Period Goals

With only 2:11 gone in the middle period – the Giants equalised through Jim Vandermeer’s slapshot from the blueline, assisted by Sebastien Sylvestre and Colin Shields.

Little over three minutes later and the visitors had the lead with David Rutherford slamming the puck home at 25:35 after a pinpoint pass by Ryan Martinelli.

The Giants purple patch at the start of the second period continued when Sebastien Sylvestre gave the Belfast side a two goal advantage at 26:46, assisted by Colin Shields.

Nate Fleming pulled one back for the Storm at 31:27, scoring a rebound on the powerplay assisted by Gerard Hanson and Like Moffatt.

Mike Hammond’s second goal of the game was an equaliser at 35:12, assisted by Luke Moffatt and Linden Springer, as the Storm pulled themselves level on the night.

However it was the Giants who would have the final word in the second period as Blair Riley finished well while shorthanded at 38:55 to edge the away team in front.

Late Goals Give Giants Important Road Win

Matt Beca gave the Storm another equalising goal only 58 seconds into the final period, assisted by Dallas Ehrhardt and Mike Hammond.

Blair Riley’s second goal of the game was the game winner, with the captain firing into the Storm net at 58:44, assisted by Darcy Murphy and David Rutherford. Steve Saviano made sure of the win with an empty net goal at 59:48.

Final Score:
Manchester Storm 4-6 Stena Line Belfast Giants

Giants Man of the Match:
#25 Blair Riley

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