ICE HOCKEY: Mixed weekend for Belfast Giants

Belfast Giants Spiro Goulakos gets to grips with Nottingham Panthers Dan Spang during  last night's game at the SSE Arena
Belfast Giants Spiro Goulakos gets to grips with Nottingham Panthers Dan Spang during last night's game at the SSE Arena

The Stena Line Belfast Giants returned to winning ways with a dominant 6-4 victory over the Nottingham Panthers.

Yesterday’s Elite League and Erhardt Conference win at The SSE Arena sees the Giants keep up their chase for the conference title, overtaking the Cardiff Devils into first place.

A man of the match performance from Darcy Murphy, two goals and one assist, helped the Challenge Cup Champions claim the two conference points on offer.

The Giants got off to the best possible start when Darcy Murphy scored unassisted after only 1:54 to net the only goal of the first period.

Sebastien Sylvestre doubled the lead for the home side at 25:45, assisted by Steve Saviano.

However the Panthers got on the scoreboard at 27:53 when Mark Derlago scored, assisted by Evan Mosey.

Darcy Murphy restored the hosts two goal advantage at 28:49 with a powerplay strike, assisted by Brendan Connolly and Spiro Goulakos.

Brendan Connolly finished off a beautiful Giants move right at the end of the middle period to give the Belfast side a 4-1 lead.

Darcy Murphy carried the puck into the Panthers zone and dished the puck to Blair Riley who setup Connolly for the goal at 39:40.

A pinpoint Spiro Goulakos pass found Colin Shields at the backpost and the Giants all-time leading scores fired home for a 5-1 lead at 41:00.

Brett Perlini scored the visitors’ second of the game at 47:55 with a powerplay effort, assisted by Jeff Brown and Mike Vaskivuo,

Luke Pither scored the second Panthers goal in quick succession with an unassisted strike at 48:34 to pull Nottingham to within two.

Tim Billingsley pulled another back for the Panthers at 58:34, assisted by Mike Vaskivuo.

Brendan Connolly made sure of the Giants win with an empty net finish, assisted by Blair Riley, at 59:02.

On Saturday night the Belfast Giants fell 5-3 to the Braehead Clan in an Elite League clash at The SSE Arena.

Three powerplay goals from the visitors gave the Clan a commanding lead and two final period strikes from Sylvestre and Connolly were not enough for the Giants.

Colin Shields opened the scoring with a unassisted shorthanded strike when the forward picked up on a loose puck and scored on a breakaway at 16:34.

Brendan Brooks equalised for the Clan with an unassisted finish 37 seconds into the middle period.

Tyler Shattock gave the visitors a go-ahead goal at 26:07, firing home on the powerplay at 26:07, assisted by Landon Oslanski and Craig Peacock.

Braehead extended their lead at 39:47 when Cameron Burt scored another powerplay goal for the Clan, assisted by Jacob Doty and Tyler Shattock.

Jacob Doty gave the visitors a three goal cushion at 41:32 with the Clan’s third successive powerplay goal, assisted by Landon Oslanski and Adam brace.

Sebastien Sylvestre gave the Giants hope with a fine finish at 46:26, assisted by Cole Jarrett and Colin Shields.

Brendan Connolly’s cannon of a slapshot at 56:26, assisted by Darcy Murphy, got the Giants to within one of their opponents. Then the Clan scored an empty net goal at 58:45 to seal the win.

The Giants return to action on Wednesday with a road game against the Fife Flyers. Next at home are back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday against Cardiff and the Fife Flyers.