ICE HOCKEY: Belfast Giants maintain title chase

Belfast Giants' Steve Saviano celebrates scoring his third goal.
Belfast Giants' Steve Saviano celebrates scoring his third goal.
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The Stena Line Belfast Giants continued their Elite League title chase with Saturday’s 7-2 win over the Fife Flyers.

Four goals from Steve Saviano helped the Belfast side on their way to an important home win. The Giants remain in third place, seven points behind the league leading Cardiff Devils.

Michael Forney opened the scoring with a wrist shot which ripped high into the Flyers net at 4:09 following a nice pass into the slot from Adam Keefe.

Steve Saviano doubled the hosts’ lead at 8:17 with a fine solo goal. Saviano picked up his own rebound and skated around the net to score on a wraparound.

The Flyers pulled one back soon after with Sebastien Thinel bundling the puck past Murphy at 8:51 after a goalmouth scramble.

With 19 seconds remaining of the opening period, Saviano extended the Giants after David Rutherford picked out the forward for his second goal of the game.

The visitors netted first in the second period to bring themselves back to within one goal of the Giants again. Carol Finucci deflected the puck into the Giants net at 24:04 following a shot on net from Thomas Muir.

The Giants pulled two goals clear of their opponents once again with less than one minute gone in the final period. James Desmarais passed the puck through the Flyers defence to Steve Saviano who finished well to post his hat-trick on the powerplay at 40:59.

Jerome Leduc gave the home side a three goal advantage at 45:13 with a fierce wrist shot past Owen in the Flyers net.

Soon after Leduc grabbed his second of the game and fourth in a Giants jersey at 57:06 after both Forney and Higgins battled for the puck around the net to give the defence man a simple finish.

Steve Saviano netted his fourth of the game at 58:17, assisted by Derrick Walser and James Desmarais, as the Giants returned to winning ways in Belfast.

The Giants return to action again this Sunday away against the Nottingham Panthers at 4pm. The next home game is on Saturday, March 4 against the Manchester Storm - face-off 7pm at The SSE Arena,