ICE HOCKEY: Cardiff Devils prove too hot for below par Belfast Giants

Belfast netminder Jackson Whistle
Belfast netminder Jackson Whistle

The Stena Line Belfast Giants fell in Cardiff for the first time this season with the Devils taking a 6-2 win on Sunday night.

After two wins from two so far in Cardiff this season, the Giants were unable to find a way past the Elite League leaders in a dress rehearsal for next Sunday’s Challenge Cup Final against the Devils in Cardiff.

The Giants lined up for Sunday’s conference clash with Stephen Murphy, Mark Garside, Jim Vandermeer, David Rutherford and Darcy Murphy all missing through injury.

Jackson Whistle got the start in net and faced 28 shots from an impressive Devils offence.

Sean Bentivoglio got the hosts on the scoreboard early when he slotted the puck past Whistle after 28 seconds thanks to a nice pass by Andrew Hotham.

However the Giants responded well with Matt Towe showing composure to round a Devils defenceman and shoot high past Bowns at 2:10, assisted by Jeff Mason and Jonathan Ferland.

The Devils grabbed another go-ahead goal, this time is was Justin Faryna who fired home, assisted by Layne Ulmer and Bryce Reddick at 22:05.

Sean Bentivoglio made it 3-1 at 23:56 when he bundled the puck over the line, assisted by Patrick Asselin.

Asselin posted a goal of his own at 32:00, assisted by Mark Richardson and Andrew Hotham, when the forward picked up a rebound and gave the Devils a three goal advantage.

Spiro Goulakos cut the hosts’ lead to two at 35:56 with a bullit of a slapshot, assisted by Dustin Johner and Colin Shields.

Whistle pulled off an important save for the visitors with 11:04 remaining when he denied the Devils with a penalty shot stop.

Joey Haddad restored the Devils three goal lead at 50:52 with a fine slapshot from the top of the circles, assisted by Matt Pope and Joey Martin.

Matt Pope sealed the win for the home side with an empty net finish at 58:20.

The Giants defeated the Sheffield Steelers 2-1 on Saturday night in Belfast. Steve Saviano’s classy finish at 52:45 gave the Giants an important win.