Belfast Giants extinguish Blaze

Giants 4 -1 Coventry
Published Friday, 21 December 2012
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The Belfast Giants got back to winning ways after last weekend's defeat by Elite League leaders the Nottingham Panthers when they defeated the Coventry Blaze 4-1 at the Odyssey on Friday night.

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The outcome lifted Doug Christiansen's side to within two points of the Panthers going into Sunday night's game with the Steelers in Sheffield.

There had been fireworks in the last meeting between the Giants and the Blaze which the Belfast side won 8-5.

Last night's rematch was a tamer affair in comparison as both sides kept their discipline throughout most of the 60 minutes.

The Giants got off to a dream start when Sam Roberts shot home through a ruck of players after less than three minutes assisted by Daymen Rycroft and new signing from Germany Kevin Surette who was making his debut.

Both teams had players sent to the penalty box in quick succession after Darryl Lloyd and Greg Leeb fell foul of the officials but neither side was able to capitalise on the extra man.

Brad Leeb put the Blaze back on level terms on 11.11 as the teams went into the first period break all square despite the fact the Giants had more shots on target.

The Giants restored their lead in the 16th minute of the second period when Roberts set up Noah Clarke who made it 2-1.

Coventry had the puck in the net shortly afterwards but the buzzer had gone a fraction earlier and the big holiday crowd heaved a sigh of relief.

It was nip and tuck in the final 20 minutes as both sides searched for the goal which would have changed the course of the game.

But it was the Giants who got the insurance goal with less than three minutes left when Greg Stewart found the net to ease the home supporters' nerves.

Coventry withdrew their goalie in a last throw of the dice but the ploy didn't work as Towe found the empty net on 18.13 to seal an important win.

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