The Belfast Giants moved into second place in the Elite League with a 5-1 win over the Fife Flyers in front of a Halloween fancy dress half-term crowd at the Odyssey Arena on Tuesday night.
There were no scares or frights for Doug Christiansen’s side as they put on a solid display to leapfrog Sheffield and remain a point behind Nottingham, who hammered Edinburgh, but with a game in hand.
At 6:53 Greg Stewart’s anticipation led to intercepting the puck in the Fife zone and he showed strength to hold off the defenceman before Craig Peacock took over and finished neatly on the backhand from a tight angle.
Then at 8:59 a breakout up ice was started with a nice touch pass from Darryl Lloyd that found Mark Garside in stride and he had time to pick out Robby Sandrock alone in the slot and his shot beat Flyers netminder Bryan Pitton.
The home side got lulled into a false sense of security at the beginning of the second period as the level of their play dropped to that of their opponents and at 25:46 they suffered the indignity of conceding a goal which was of their own making when they failed to get the puck deep to facilitate a line change. Tired and caught in their own zone Casey Haines poked home a loose puck.
It should have been 2-2 moments later but Murphy pulled of the stop of the night as he denied Danny Stewart a shorthanded goal.
But the Giants recovered helped by a couple of penalty calls and with the two-man advantage Sandrock, at the second attempt, blasted home his second of the game at 33:12 and then at 38:50, also on the powerplay, another Sandrock rocket was saved by Pitton but he couldn’t control the rebound and Jeff Mason slotted home the fourth goal for the Giants.
They didn’t extend their advantage until 56:25 when Daymen Rycroft spun around and wristed a shot from the high slot over the shoulder of Pitton for his eighth of the campaign.
That was the icing on the cake and the Giants will now prepare for a weekend double header trip to the Coventry Blaze as the two sides meet for the first time this season on Saturday night.