Belfast Giants defeat Milton Keynes Lightning

Belfast Giants' Blair Riley.
Belfast Giants' Blair Riley.

The Belfast Giants won the first of three home games in three nights with a 5-1 victory over the Milton Keynes Lightning.

A hat-trick from Blair Riley plus goals from Lewis Hook and Darcy Murphy saw the Giants return to top spot in the Elite League standings. Next up for the Giants at home is against Glasgow on Saturday and Sunday against Dundee.

Tyler Beskorowany started in the Belfast net as Paul Swindlehurst returned to the lineup with Colin Shields, Guillaume Gelinas, Hunter Bishop, Matt Towe and Andrew Dickson missing for the Giants.

Lewis Hook opened the scoring against his former side picking up the rebound, assisted by Pat Dwyer and Kyle Baun, at 3:56.

Giants Captain Blair Riley (pictured) doubled the hosts lead at 15:40, assisted by Pat Dwyer.

Riley posted his second of the game at 28:30 with a cool solo finish on a breakaway.

Darcy Murphy netted the hosts fourth unanswered goal of the night at 32:56, assisted by Blair Riley and Kevin Raine.

Cole Shudra got the Lightning on the scoresheet at 49:47, assisted by Georgs Golokovs and Harry Ferguson.

Blair Riley completed his hat-trick at 54:37, unassisted, while short handed to give the Giants a four goal win.