Two Mike Radja goals helped the Stena Line Belfast Giants to a 3-2 home win over the Fife Flyers on Sunday evening.
The win, Belfast’s second over Fife in as many nights, sees the Giants clinch first place in Challenge Cup Group A and they advance to a quarter-final clash with the Manchester Storm, dates to be confirmed.
Mike Radja opened the scoring at 18:52 to give the home side a 1-0 lead at the end of an even first period and Craig Peacock doubled their lead at 22:55 with a fine finish past Flyers netminder David Brown.
Nicholas Rioux gave the visitors a lifeline at 36:33, pulling a goal back for the Flyers with his eighth of the season - a shorthanded effort. Then, with little over 10 minutes remaining in the game, Justin Fox helped the Flyers draw level and the momentum was with the Scottish side.
However, it was Radja who scored the game winning goal and his 12th goal of the season at 52:59 with a composed finish after Brandon Benedict picked him out right in front of the goal.
The Giants travelled to Scotland on Saturday to take on the Fife Flyers Challenge Cup Group A and came away with a 3-0 win.
Chris Higgins got the opener before Giants captain Adam Keefe added his third of the season at 47:58 and his team’s second of the night to extend the visitors’ lead to 2-0.
And with 43 seconds remaining, Darryl Lloyd also got his name on the scoresheet, making it 3-0, assisted by Chris Higgins.
The Stena Line Belfast Giants return to action on Sunday 29th November against the Manchester Storm face-off 5pm in the Elite League. This Friday and Saturday also sees the Giants host the Friendship Four NCAA tournament with four top US college teams playing outside of North America for the first ever time.
Tickets for all five of next weekends’ ice-hockey games are on sale through Ticketmaster online and from the Arena Box Office on (028) 9073 9074.