THE Belfast Giants finished their Continental Cup campaign on a winning note yesterday as they defeated Romanian side HSC Sikszereda 4-0 in Germany.
But the result merely ensured Doug Christiansen’s side finished in second place when they needed to win the tournament to progress.
A 7-1 defeat by the German host side, Landschut, on Saturday night had ended any realistic hopes that the Giants could go through to the next stage of the competition in Italy.
Yesterday, Sam Roberts netted the opening goal in the first period when he sent a rasping shot into the roof of the net.
Early in the second period Greg Stewart made it 2-0 with a slap shot when the Giants were short-handed after their opponents had a man in the penalty box.
Craig Peacock then got his name on the scoresheet to give the Giants a three goal cushion going into the final 20 minutes.
However the Belfast side had to rely on a few smart saves from netminder Stephen Murphy to keep a clean sheet.
Graeme Walton had a couple of chances to increase the lead only to be denied by the Romanian goaltender.
But Andrew Fournier netted the Giants fourth goal when he calmly rounded the goalie to wrap up a comfortable win although the result was cold comfort after their failure to progress to next month’s tournament in Italy
On Saturday, the Giants defeat against the Bavarian side had rendered yesterday’s game academic and it was Landschut who clinched victory in the tournament with a 4-3 victory over Dutch side Geleen last night.
Against the Giants the hosts surged into a 4-0 lead with goals from Cody Thompson, Peter Abstreiter, who got two, and Stephen Kronthaler before Scott Champagne pulled one back in the second period.
Landschut netted three more goals in the final 20 minutes to warp up a surprisingly emphatic victory.
Now Doug Christiansen will have to lift his troops as they continue the defence of their Elite League title with an important double header against the Sheffield Steelers to come this weekend.
The Giants are in action on Friday and Saturday at the Odyssey against the only side that has beaten them in regulation time this season.