The Stena Line Belfast Giants will take a lead into next Wednesday’s Challenge Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg following Wednesday’s 5-1 road win against the Nottingham Panthers.
The Giants responded well to back-to-back defeats last weekend and goals from Rutherford, Vandermeer, Saviano, Goulakos and Sylvestre gave the Giants the 1st Leg lead.
Jackson Whistle turned away 24 shots in a stellar performance in net to give the Belfast side a great chance of reaching the Final in Cardiff on Sunday 4th March. Next Wednesday’s 2nd Leg takes place at The SSE Arena, face-off 7pm.
Giants At The Double In Opening Period
David Rutherford opened the scoring with a fine powerplay goal at 10:01, assisted by Jim Vandermeer. Vandermeer grabbed a goal of his own little over four minutes later when he picked his spot and fired past Galbraith at 14:15, assisted by David Rutherford and Blair Riley.
Belfast Extend Lead In Nottingham
Steve Saviano made it 3-0 82 seconds into the middle period, assisted by Blair Riley and David Rutherford. However Mark Derlago pulled one back for the home side with a fortunate bounce at 24:00.
Spiro Goulakos restored the Giants three goal advantage at 28:35 with an unassisted shorthanded effort.
Sylvestre Strike Gives Four Goal Advantage
Sebastien Sylvestre gave the Giants a four goal cushion going into next Wednesday’s 2nd Leg at 53:30 with the visitors’ second powerplay goal of the game, assisted by Colin Shields and Jonathan Ferland.
Nottingham Panthers 1-5 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Giants Man of the Match:
#91 David Rutherford (3 Points. 1 Goal + 2 Assists)
The Semi-Final 2nd Leg takes place in Belfast on Wednesday 7th February. However, before then, Belfast’s next home games are on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd February – both against the Elite League leading Cardiff Devils at The SSE Arena.
Tickets for all three games are now on sale online at ticketmaster.ie as well as from the Arena Box Office either in person or by calling (028) 9073 9074.
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