CARDIFF DEVILS 3 BELFAST GIANTS 5
A Stena Line Belfast Giants comeback was the story of Saturday with the visitors coming from 3-1 down to win 5-3 against the Cardiff Devils. the Giants played the perfect road game to defeat the Devils. Jackson Whistle stopped 31 of 34 shots to backstop the Giants to an impressive win on the road in Cardiff.
It is important to note that the Giants were missing the injured Dustin Johner, Stephen Murphy and Jim Vandermeer as well as Jonathan Ferland through suspension.
The Giants got off to the worst possible start, conceding after 40 seconds through Patrick Asselin’s early goal, assisted by Joey Haddad and Joey Martin.
Martin then turned scorer with a controversial powerplay goal at 7:45. However Referee Smith awarded the goal despite the Giants protests for offside.
Cole Jarrett cut the Cardiff lead in half at 16:01 when his thunderbolt of a slapshot ripped into the back of the Devils’ net on the powerplay, assisted by Brendan Connolly.
Into the middle period and Andrew Hotham struck on the powerplay at 22:39, assisted by Joey Martin and Jake Morissette, to extend the Devils lead to 3-1.
The Giants took advantage of their own powerplay opportunity later in the period when Matt Towe redirected Colin Shields’ pass into the hosts’ net at 28:08.
Eight minutes later and the Giants were level. This time it came following some nice work behind the net by Brendan Connolly who dished the puck to the front of the net where Blair Riley was waiting to shoot home.
Steve Saviano scored the visitors third powerplay goal of the night at 44:33 when he snuck the puck from behind the net past Bowns in the Cardiff net.
John Kurtz dropped the gloves at centre-ice with Cardiff’s Josh Batch at 46:37 with the Belfast forward impressing with the Devil attempting to spark his team back into the game.
The Giants extended their lead at 54:14 when goalscorer Saviano and Sylvestre combined well for the #10 to shoot low into the Cardiff net.
Brendan Connolly picked up the Giants second fighting major of the game at 57:24 when he dropped the gloves with Justin Faryna in the Belfast zone.
Jackson Whistle and the Giants team defence put on a show in the final minutes of this game, killing off 5-on-3 and 6-on-4 opportunities in order to seal the win.