ICE HOCKEY: Belfast Giants see off Dundee Stars to end league campaign on a high

Belfast Giants Sebastien Sylvestre scoring against the Dundee
Belfast Giants Sebastien Sylvestre scoring against the Dundee

The Stena Line Belfast Giants defeated the Dundee Stars 8-5 in Belfast on Sunday night to end their Elite League season in style.

The Giants now advance to the PredictorBet Playoffs to face the Nottingham Panthers on Friday at The SSE Arena, face-off 7pm.

A hat-trick from Sebastien Sylvestre and goals from Riley, D.Murphy, Goulakos, Ferland and Connolly gave the Giants a important win on the final day of the regular season.

The Giants finish the season in fifth place and will take on the Nottingham Panthers in next weekend’s quarter final with the Giants hosting the 1st Leg on Friday before travelling to Nottingham on Sunday for the 2nd Leg.

Blair Riley opened the scoring at 10:34 when he buried the rebound following Darcy Murphy’s shot. Sebastien Sylvestre doubled the hosts lead at 16:10.

49 seconds later Darcy Murphy redirected Kevin Raine’s shot past Holland in the Stars net as the Giants extended their lead once again.

Sylvestre grabbed his second of the game at 18:54, assisted by Matt Towe and Brandon Benedict, giving the Giants a 4-0 lead after the opening period.

Johan Andersson got the Stars on the scoreboard at 21:26 as the visitors found a way past Andrew Dickson.

Spiro Goulakos restored the Giants four goal advantage with a powerplay strike at 39:57, assisted by Blair Riley and Darcy Murphy.

Lukas Lundvald Nielsen pulled another back for the Stars with a powerplay goal at 42:25, assisted by Gabriel Levesque and Anthony Mastrodicasa.

The Giants hit back with a powerplay goal of their own through Jonathan Ferland. Brendan Connolly finished well at 52:19 to give the Giants a 7-2 lead. Sebastien Sylvestre completed his hat-trick on the night at 54:16.

The Stars pulled back three late goals but it was to little to late.

And the Giants fell to a heavy away 8-1 defeat against the Cardiff Devils on Saturday night.