Belfast Giants remain second in Elite League after win over Manchester Storm

The Belfast Giants defeated the Manchester Storm in a closely fought game in Belfast on Sunday evening.

Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 9:15 pm
Updated Monday, 4th March 2019, 9:55 am
Belfast Giants' David Rutherford celebrates scoring against Manchester Storm during Sunday afternoons Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

A double from David Rutherford and Dustin Johner as well as another from Blair Riley gave the Giants an important home win.

The Giants remain second in the standings, two points behind the Cardiff Devils who have played one game less. Next up for the Belfast side is a home game against the Glasgow Clan on Friday before facing the Guildford Flames on Sunday in the Challenge Cup Final in Cardiff. Tyler Beskorowany backstopped the Giants to Sunday’s win against Manchester with the home side missing Guillaume Gelinas, Pat Dwyer and Andrew Dickson.

Giants Captain Blair Riley opened the scoring at 9:51 when his shot crept into the Storm net, assisted by Kevin Raine and Darcy Murphy.

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David Rutherford doubled the hosts lead at 19:50 following a goalmouth scramble, with the forward also picking up a high sticking penalty in the ensuing scrum.

Manchester pulled one back on 26:20 with an unassisted strike through Dane Byers that required a goal review with the puck sneaking over the line past Beskorowany.

The Giants extended their lead at 47:34 when David Rutherford, assisted by Darcy Murphy, rounded Storm netminder Matt Ginn, and finished into the empty goal.

Manchester hit back yet again, this time it was Linden Springer who made it a one-goal game at 48:54, assisted by Rob Linsmayer and Dallas Ehrhardt. Dustin Johner completed the scoring in this one with a late double. First, Chris Higgins picked out Johner and he cooly fired the puck into the roof of the net at 58:06. Johner’s second of the game came at 59:35 as he and Kyle Baun teamed up to score into the empty net.

Next at home for the Giants is the Glasgow Clan on Friday 8th March, face-off 7pm, before the Challenge Cup final against the Guildford Flames on Sunday 10th March.