ICE HOCKEY: Belfast Giants advance into Challenge Cup quarter-finals

Action from Belfast Giants against Fife Flyers
Action from Belfast Giants against Fife Flyers

BELFAST GIANTS 5 FIFE FYLERS 0

The Stena Line Belfast Giants started out hot on Saturday night, putting the visiting Fife Flyers in a hole early with three first period goals, which they never recovered from. After the scoring frenzy, the Giants shored up on defence and added two more late goals for a 5-0 win, giving goalie Jackson Whistle his first shutout of the season.

Goal for Belfast Giants

Goal for Belfast Giants

Connolly’s opening goal proved to be the game winner, but Ferland’s two goal effort won him the Man of the Match award and helped the Giants stay comfortably ahead throughout the night.Late goals from Sylvestre and Riley removed any doubt that the Giants would come away victorious, and sparked a brawl after the fifth goal which made the win a little more interesting for the fans. The home victory saw the Giants advance to the Challenge Cup Quarter Finals.

Brendan Connolly opened the scoring for the Giants after 7:46 with a shot from the point, assisted by Sebastien Sylvestre, and only 9 seconds later (7:55), Jonathan Ferland skated across the middle of the Flyers’ defensive zone and fired one past goalie Jordan Marr’s blocker-side. Ferland’s goal was assisted by Saviano and Shields.

The Giants continued to lay on the pressure, forcing Fife to remain in their defensive zone, and at 10:18, Ferland recorded his second of the night with a silky move to take out the defender, followed by a bar-down backhanded shot. Towe and Benedict recorded the assists on the Giants third goal of the night.

The Giants tacked on another six penalty minutes to their tally, yet the Flyers failed to capitalise, ending the second period with the same 3-0 scoreline as the first. The period had a much more even 6-5 shot total in favour of the Giants compared to the 15-5 tally of the first.

A late goal at 57:09 from Sylvestre, assisted by Connolly and Riley, gave the Giants an even more secure lead, and their fifth goal with 36.5 seconds remaining only added insult to injury. This goal was scored by Riley, assisted by Goulakos and Sylvestre.

Tensions were high, and following the celebrations from the Giants players on the fifth goal, a fight broke out between Kurtz and Heelis of the Flyers, leading to an ejection for both players. This victory ensured the Giants a place in the Quarter Finals of the Challenge Cup.

The Giants travel to Nottingham on sunday to face the Panthers in Elite League action, face-off 4:00pm

The Giants next home game is against the Guildford Flames in the Elite League on Friday 20th October at The SSE Arena, Belfast.