The Stena Line Belfast Giants fell to a first defeat in twelve Elite League games as the Sheffield Steelers took Sunday’s game 4-2. The Giants and Steelers split their weekend series in Sheffield as the league’s in-form sides went toe-to-toe in two epic battles at the Sheffield Arena.
Despite defeat the Giants remain in top spot, one point clear of the Nottingham Panthers who have played three games more. The Giants most recent domestic defeat came on Sunday 21st October, a 3-2 defeat in Guildford.
Tyler Beskorowany started in the Giants net with the visitors missing Pat Dwyer, Jim Vandermeer, Colin Shields, Matt Towe and Andrew Dickson.
Dowd’s Double Puts Steelers Ahead
Sheffield got off to the better start of the two sides and grabbed a quick first period double.
Rob Dowd scores twice inside 2:35 to put the home side into the lead. First the Steelers forward shot low past Beskorowany while alone in front of the Giants net at 4:00. Goal number two came at 6:35 when Dowd followed up on his rebound, assisted by Jonas Westerling.
Steelers Extend Advantage
The hosts extended their lead at 23:07 thanks to a bit of fortune. Josh McFadden’s pass deflected off the skate of Josh Roach and trickled past Beskorowany into the Giants net.
Ben O’Connor netted the Steelers fourth with a 5-on-3 strike at 28:54, assisted by Rob Dowd and Mark Matheson.
Francis Beauvillier gave the visitors a glimmer of hope at 34:49 when Jonathan Ferland found Beauvillier with space in front of the net and the forward duly rifled into the top corner.
Giants Score Late In Final Period
The Giants battled bravely during the final 20 minutes of play and found a breakthrough thanks to Blair Riley, who reduced the deficit to two when he snapped home a pass from Josh Roach.
However Riley’s goal, scored at 59:03, proved to be too late for the Giants as the Steelers took the home win on Sunday.
Sheffield Steelers 4-2 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Giants Man of the Match
#15 Darcy Murphy
The Giants remain on the road with an Elite League clash on Wednesday night in Dundee, face-off 7:30pm.
Next at home for the Giants is the Cardiff Devils on Sunday 9th December, face-off 5pm, before facing the Dundee Stars two days later on Tuesday 11th December in the Challenge Cup Quarter-Final 2nd Leg, face-off 7pm.
Tickets are available from the Arena Box Office, in person or by calling (028) 9073 9074 as well as online from ticketmaster.ie.