If this was a game between the top two sides in the Elite League, it just didn’t feel like it.
The Belfast Giants are currently the best team in the country and their nine point lead over the Braehead Clan after Friday night’s 4-1 win at the Odyssey Arena, shows how big a gap that is.
They allowed the Clan to take the lead but once they had their noses in front the Giants skated to a comfortable win as they outworked, outmuscled and ultimately outplayed their Scottish opponents.
The Giants started the game with huge pressure on the Clan net aided by an early powerplay but they couldn’t take advantage and the visitors gradually got a foothold with their first man advantage and used that momentum to take the lead at 9:25.
Former Giant Matt Towe was on hand to score at the second attempt as he smuggled the puck past Giants netminder Stephen Murphy from close range.
The home side weren’t behind for long. At 12:57 the puck was kept in the Clan zone thanks to the long reach of Cody Brookwell. It popped up in the air, was gloved down by Dustin Whitecotton and his pass was perfect for Jeffrey Szwez to fire the one timer from the left circle low and hard past Clan goalie Kyle Jones.
At 32:59, on the powerplay, defenceman Calvin Elfring worked the puck towards the net and Evan Cheverie was on hand to slam it home.
It was a rather more bizarre goal that made it 3-1 at 38:13 as Cheverie spun around and fired it past Jones. Craig Peacock then scored the empty netter.
The two sides meet again tonight in Braehead.
The other teams will be cheering on the Clan because the Giants are flying.