Guildford Flames 1 Belfast Giants 5
Peter Moore at the Spectrum
Belfast Giants took an early lead they would never relinquish, after completing a 5-1 victory over the Guildford Flames at the Spectrum on Wednesday.
In front of a crowd of over 1,900 Giants opened up a two-goal cushion after nine minutes, and never looked back.
The Northern Ireland side opened the scoring after 7:15 when Curtis Hamilton- who had just returned to the side after an injury- netted. Giants added their second of the night two minutes later when Liam Morgan scored after a goalmouth scramble.
T.J Foster cut the Flames deficit in half after netting after 10:35, before Giants restored their two-goal cushion thanks to a Lewis Hook re-direct of a Liam Reddox drive.
Despite Guildford having a 5 on 3 advantage towards the end of the second period they were unable to capitalise on this as the visitors went into the third period leading by 3-1.
A clinical piece of finishing by Giants Elgin Pearse with a wrist shot into the roof of the net increased Giants lead at 42.27.
With a minute and a half to go in the third period and Belfast down a man, Guildford decided to pull their netminder for the extra attacker. The gamble failed to pay off as David Goodwin fired in an empty net shorthanded goal to seal victory for the Giants.
Flames Head Coach Paul Dixon said after the game “Looking back on the game we really needed to get at least a goal on that 5 on 3 near the end of the second period. “We were down a couple at that time and even a single would have put us in a much better position to start the third period, especially since that period was by far our best of the night.”