ICE HOCKEY: Belfast Giants ‘Storm’ back to beat Manchester

Belfast Giants' Matt Towe with Manchester Storm's Connor Varley
Belfast Giants' Matt Towe with Manchester Storm's Connor Varley

The Stena Line Belfast Giants produced an impressive comeback over the Manchester Storm on Tuesday night to advance to the Challenge Cup Semi-Finals.

A final period double from Chris Higgins bought the home side level from a 3-1 deficit with Alex Foster scoring the game winning goal in overtime.

The Giants will now face the winner of the Cardiff Devils vs Dundee Stars Quarter Final. The Welsh side are 4-1 up from the first leg with the second leg in Cardiff tonight.

The Giants and Storm were tied at 3-3 following last week’s Quarter Final first leg in Manchester.

The Giants had the better of the opening exchanges, however it was the visitors who took the lead. The Manchester Storm broke away from their zone and it was Connor Varley who applied the finish to open the scoring at 6:00. 1:43 later and it was 2-0, this time Taylor Dickin netted for the Storm as they extended their lead to 5-3 in the tie.

Steve Saviano brought the home side back to within one of their opponents when he finished well from a James Desmarais pass from behind the net at 11:26.

However just over two minutes later and the Storm had regained their two goal advantage as Cody Cartier scored on the rebound at 13:42.

There was a moment of controversy at the end of the first period when the referee handed Michael Forney a 2+2 Roughing Penalty as well as a 5+Game Misconduct Penalty for Fighting at 15:40.

With only 14 seconds gone of the final period, Chris Higgins netted the Giants second of the night.

Then, at 48:58, the Giants drew level. Higgins finishing well past Mike Clemente to send the game to overtime.

During overtime Alex Foster scored the winner.

Next up for the Giants are back-to-back home games tomorrow and Friday night against the Edinburgh Capitals at The SSE Arena. Both games face-off at 7pm.