The Belfast Giants missed a huge opportunity to move up the standings in the Elite League as they lost 5-2 at the Braehead Clan on Sunday night, the defeat coming after they had beaten the same opposition 6-1 at the Odyssey Arena twenty-four hours earlier.
The result also halted the Giants five-game winning streak and kept them in fourth place in the Elite League standings, five points behind leaders Sheffield Steelers who they’ll face twice at home on Friday and Saturday nights.
Before that Steve Thornton’s side will take on the Dundee Stars at the Odyssey Tuesday night.
Last night’s game was scoreless at the halfway point before the Giants self-destructed, giving up three goals in over two minutes.
The sequence started with a slashing penalty on Adam Keefe which was followed by a powerplay goal for Lee Esders.
Turnovers by the Giants then allowed Tristan Harper and Matt Keith to make t a 3-0 game.
A powerplay marker from Mike Kompon cut the deficit heading into the final period but that’s as close as they would get as Stefan Meyer made it 4-1 and while Kompon would add another goal with the man advantage inside the final minute, Meyer would add the empty netter to round off the scoring.
It was a different story on Saturday night as the Giants came flying out of the gates in the first period.
Craig Peacock’s 14th goal of the season at 2:35 opened the scoring before the Giants scored two short-handed goals on the same penalty to Calvin Elfring.
At 4:30 Keefe netted and 49 seconds later his line mate Darryl Lloyd also beat Clan netminder Kyle Jones.
The visitors second powerplay went rather better than their first with Leigh Salters scoring at 6:16 as Ray Sawada sat in the box for tripping.
However the Giants weren’t finished as the crazy beginning to the game continued at 7:46 when Lloyd grabbed his second goal of the game.
The action calmed down after that but remained end-to-end throughout the rest of the first period and into the second when the Clan had their best sustained pressure of the game.
Giants netminder Carsen Chubak was called upon on a number of occasions to make a string of important stops, none more so than a stunning stick save on Stefan Meyer.
The home side were guilty of taking their foot of the accelerator and had plenty to thank their goalie for as the game entered the final twenty minutes.
And the Giants responded with a much better effort and added a couple of powerplay goals in the third period.
At 47:38 Kompon’s wrap around on the backhand made it 5-1 and at 52:58 Kevin Westgarth’s fantastic wrist shot from between the circles beat Jones.