Belfast Giants stay on title track after successful road trip

Evan Cheverie
Evan Cheverie

The Belfast Giants continued on what now must be considered their inevitable march to the Elite League title, with two more impressive road wins over the weekend.

On Saturday they defeated former coach Doug Christiansen and his Sheffield Steelers side 3-1 before scoring six first period goals on route to a 7-2 win over the Edinburgh Capitals on Sunday night.

With Dundee and Nottingham also losing the Giants opened up a massive seventeen-point lead at the top of the standings.

Heading into the weekend the Steelers had won nine games in a row at home but the Giants took the honours for the fourth time in five meetings between the sides this season.

The only goal of the first period came when Daryl Lloyd scored at 12.50 as he redirected the puck into the net.

The second period saw the Giants net twice to take a three goal lead as Kevin Saurette struck at 24.19 and then Evan Cheverie added a third goal for the visitors at 34.15.

The Steelers got what was no more than a consolation goal early in the third period as Rob Sirianni scored at 42.23. Despite scoring so early in the period they were unable to add to their tally and the Giants thwarted them with tight defence and the netminding of Stephen Murphy as they saw out the remainder of the game.

Paul Adey’s side took the long bus journey north to the Scottish capital and could have been forgiven for taking a while to get their legs going at a venue where they had surprisingly been beaten the last time they visited.

However they came flying out of the blocks with Colin Shields scoring a first period hat-trick as the Giants top line of Shields, Dustin Whitecotton and Jeffrey Szwez destroyed the Capitals.

Shields opened his account at 3.18 and netted his second at 8.42. Defenceman Jeff Mason got in on the fun a couple of minutes later as he converted on the back post. Whitecotton made it 4-0 forty seconds later.

Curtis Leinweber got the Capitals on the board on the powerplay at 12.53 but just 28 seconds after that Shields completed his hat-trick and before the end of a dominating twenty minutes Whitecotton had scored his second.

The 6-1 lead allowed the Giants to take their foot of the pedal. Jade Portwood scored the only goal of the second period before Whitecotton finished off a hat-trick of his own at 45.08 giving the top line six goals and 10 assists.

The Giants can now prepare for just the one game next weekend, away to the Braehead Clan on Saturday.