ice hockey

Darryl Lloyd of the Belfast Giants in action against Derek Roehl of the Fife Flyers
Darryl Lloyd of the Belfast Giants in action against Derek Roehl of the Fife Flyers

The Belfast Giants are six points away from claiming the Elite League title after they completed another successful weekend with victory over the Fife Flyers on Saturday night.

Paul Adey’s side lead the Braehead Clan by 20 points at the top of the standings and if results went their way this week, including a win over Nottingham on Saturday night, the championship could be clinched as soon next Sunday if they went on to beat the Panthers again in the second game of a doubleheader.

One win in the two games against the defending champions however would guarantee an opportunity to celebrate on home ice with an Odyssey doubleheader on the 21st and 22nd February against the Coventry Blaze.

The Giants 6-4 win over the Fife Flyers at home on Saturday night was a feisty, and entertaining affair.

The visitors went ahead at 9:08 when Matt Reber beat Stephen Murphy with a shot the Giants netminder would have liked back.

However after killing a penalty successfully the Giants equalized at 12:16 when Chris Higgins threaded the needle with a perfect pass for Kevin Saurette to finish.

And at 14:20, on a quick transition up ice the roles were reversed as Saurette found Higgins.

When Jeffrey Szwez and Calvin Elfring played tic-tac-toe it was Colin Shields who was the recipient of a very pretty goal to make it 3-1 at the end of the first period.

However, as has been the pattern in recent games, the Giants switched off in the second period and goals from Derek Roehl and Jordan Fulton just 29 seconds apart tied the game at 3-3.

But as a little nastiness crept into the game the Giants regained the lead on the powerplay at 30:51 when Robby Sandrock’s slap pass was diverted in by Saurette.

Elfring’s wrap around at 36:29 opened up a little gap and when Darryl Lloyd tipped in Mark Garside’s shot three minutes into the final period the points were all but secured.

Reber’s second goal of the game at 51:09 rounded off the scoring.

Adey explained, “They played us hard, I thought we had the game under control at 3-1 but they got a couple of pucks to the net and tied it up but I liked the response of our players not to panic and we scored a couple of nice goals to regain the lead and we found a way to get the win.”