Belfast Giants remain focused after lifting league title

Jeffrey Szwez of the Belfast Giants
Jeffrey Szwez of the Belfast Giants

If anyone thought winning the Elite League, celebrating and having some extra time off was going to have an adverse effect on the Belfast Giants they were wrong.

The Giants took care of business in thrilling style on Saturday night beating the Fife Flyers 5-4 with Jeffrey Szwez firing in the overtime winner with just three seconds remaining in the extra five-minute period.

Then on Sunday night they beat the Coventry Blaze 4-1 to increase their winning streak to an incredible fifteen games.

In Fife, against a Flyers side that had won six games on the spin and battling to make the play-offs, both sides went at it from the off. Flyers scored early through Ned Lukacevic at 3.47 and then just after the same player had been binned on a 2+10 call the home side went 2-0 ahead thanks to a strike from Bobby Chaumont at 15.21.

The Giants were swift to hit back and did so in style by tying the game with two goals in 39 seconds with Adam Keefe at 16.19 and Kevin Saurette at 16.58 finding a way past Kevin Regan in the Flyers net.

The second session saw no let up and the Giants hit the front at 27.12 thanks to a second goal from Saurette but this time it was Flyers who responded with a quick double to regain the lead with Jordan Fulton at 33.12 on the powerplay and Derek Roehl at 36.31 seeing the hosts 4-3 ahead after two periods.

Still nothing in it as the third period raged on but once again it was just after a 2+10 call on Giants’ Chris Higgins that the next goal came and it was a tying goal for the visitors with Jeff Mason firing in at 50.27.

That was the scoring as far as regulation was concerned but not the excitement as both sides went for the winner.

Not to be in regulation and it looked like overtime would not produce a winner either until up stepped Szwez with 3 seconds remaining to shoot and score and give the Giants the win.

Last night in Coventry the Giants opened the scoring at 4.37 as Evan Cheverie was on target.

The hosts restored equality at 9.15 with a goal from Mike Egner.

Keefe restored the visitors lead as he fired home at 17.03. The lead was increased in the final minute of the first period as Saurette scored on the powerplay at 19.17.

There was no scoring in the second period but it was the Giants who sealed the win in the third as Dustin Whitecotton scored on the powerplay at 45.10.

The Giants return home on Friday night against former coach Dave Whistle and the Cardiff Devils.