The Glasgow Clan’s weekend began in disappointment as Belfast Giants returned from European duty to claim a 6-1 win over Zack Fitzgerald’s men.
A tough couple of days, which also sees Clan head to Cardiff Devils in tomorrow’s opening league game, didn’t get the positive outlook anyone hoped as the Challenge Cup holders began their defence in robust fashion.
Giants had the better of the first period and that counted for them when they opened the scoring with almost 14 minutes on the clock.
With Bobby Farnham in the penalty box, Giants surged up the ice on a breakaway that saw Lewis Hook’s effort missed, but Brian Ward followed up to put the home side in front.
Glasgow began the second period in good spirits, with Matt Beca unable to finish one off, but a holding call on Matt Stanisz gave the Giants something to go from.
With the puck loose just in front of the blue paint, Jordan Smotherman had a pocket of space to poke it into the net as Belfast doubled their lead.
Curtis Hamilton soon added a third one shortly after, getting the final touch on an assist by Liam Morgan and Clan had quite the task to try and turn this one around.
There was something to celebrate for the fans who made the trip to Belfast when Scott Pitt finished one off unassisted on the powerplay to close the gap to one.
The game opened up a little with chances at both ends and a feeling the next goal could certainly count in terms of a contest.
However, it was Adam Keefe’s men who scored it, restored their three-goal lead as Morgan tapped in as the puck broke loose in front of Patrick Killeen’s net.
A fifth goal seven minutes into the third sealed the Challenge Cup points for the Giants as Ciaran Long finished off from a Ward pass and their lead was too much.
A further marker from Curtis Leonard, sending his shot flying past Killeen put the icing on the cake to make it only one win in 11 visits to Belfast for the Clan.