The Belfast Giants moved six points clear at the top of the Elite League after a 3-2 overtime win over the Fife Flyers at the Odyssey Arena.
Paul Adey’s side were made to work hard for their victory which only came when Calvin Elfring scored on the powerplay with 2:37 left in the extra five-minute period.
The first period saw the Flyers get off to a solid start and they grew in confidence as the time ticked on with the Giants struggling to find any rhythm.
The Giants found themselves a goal down with 2:24 remaining in the opening twenty minutes.
The second period saw the Giants come out with more intent but with little success to show for it before they were on the end of three controversial penalty calls by referee Dean Smyth on the Flyers.
The first two came on the same play as Darryl Lloyd was shoved over by Kyle Haines after Lloyd himself looked like he’d hit the Flyers defenceman late on an icing call.
Nickerson skated in to police the situation but remarkably both Flyers players were sent to the box while Lloyd was adjudged to have committed no offence.
The Giants wasted no time with the two-man advantage with Calvin Elfring’s shot saved by Kevin Regan but the rebound fell for Evan Cheverie to shoot into the open net at 26:59.
Then later in the period at 35:39, as another penalty to the Flyers was counting down, Kevin Saurette split the two defencemen, had his shot saved but then appeared to interfere with Regan as he followed up allowing Chris Higgins to score.
The Flyers netminder couldn’t believe the decision of the officials to allow the goal but it stood and the Giants were ahead.
The Flyers finished the period strongly and their hard work paid off at 45:54 when Bobby Chaumont tied the game at 2-2 and despite both sides having chances neither could find the winning goal,
Eventually the Giants got the game winner in overtime after the Flyers Jordan Fulton took a hooking penalty and Elfring fired the puck home from the blueline to give the home team a vital victory.