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Belfast Giants look to take control of Elite League

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The Belfast Giants ticked off two more wins over the weekend beating the Coventry Blaze 5-1 at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday and following it up with a 4-2 victory at the Dundee Stars on Sunday.

While Nottingham and Sheffield both lost again it’s the Braehead Clan who are immerging as perhaps the team that might challenge the Giants at the top of the Elite League.

The gap between the two sides is seven-points but they’ll meet up in a Christmas home-and-home doubleheader this week with the first match-up at the Odyssey on Friday and the return in Glasgow twenty-four hours later.

Should the Giants win both games they’d be in control of the title race heading into the second half of the season.

The game against the Blaze was a physical affair and the result was in doubt until the third period when the Giants broke it open with three goals.

The Giants opened the scoring with a strike from Chris Higgins at 7.28 on their first powerplay opportunity of the game but with referee Dean Smyth being whistle happy it wasn’t long before the Blaze took advantage of their opportunity with the man advantage when Ryan Ginand’s excellent wrist shot beat Giants netminder Stephen Murphy at 8.12.

Earlier in the week the Giants had worked long and hard on their powerplay in practice and the chemistry showed with a well worked goal at 14.43 from the stick of Jeffery Szwez after they’d moved the puck well around the offensive zone.

It was a closely fought second period which ended goalless but had a big moment of controversy when Szwez was adjudged to have been the third man into a skirmish between his team mate Calvin Elfring and Kevin Harvey of the Blaze. Harvey wanted to fight Elfring but didn’t want anything to do with Szwez but the Giants forward was kicked out of the game, a decision was annoyed Giants coach Paul Adey who maintained there was no fight going on for Szwez to be third man in to.

In spite of being without their leading goal scorer the Giants continued to find the net on the powerplay with a strike from Robby Sandrock at 42.43 and that was followed by a strike from Darryl Lloyd at 44.54. The game was over as a contest when Lloyd netted his second of the game at 58.47 with a majestic pass from Higgins bringing the crowd to their feet.

The Giants took their red-hot powerplay to Dundee last night and scored three times.

Dustin Whitecotton’s goal gave them the first period lead and despite going 2-1 down after a double from Billy Bagron the Giants came back with strikes from Szwez and Elfring to lead 3-2 with twenty minutes to go. Chris Higgins 9th goal of the season sealed another win.

 

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