Clan edged in opening Giants encounter

Glasgow Clan returned to Premier Sports Elite League action after 20 months away, but it was a defeat that left much to be encouraged about.

Malcolm Cameron and his team travelled to Belfast Giants and despite going down 3-2, it was a performance to be satisfied with.

Giants had a 13-game head start on the Clan in their 2021/22 season, but you wouldn’t have thought so, given how hard Glasgow worked to match them.

The start didn’t quite go to plan as Scott Conway put the home side in front on a shorthanded play after a minute and 18 seconds when he used his stick well to place the puck nicely beyond Shane Starrett.
Clan more than held their own against a team keen to bounce back after a 7-1 road loss to Sheffield Steelers the night before.

There were chances at both ends, but both goalies were in no mood for giving any favours in this contest.
Starrett however produced arguably the save of the game when he somehow managed to prevent Ben Lake from adding to the Giants’ scoreline.

It was the Clan who got the next goal when Mathieu Roy scored the club’s first goal in 610 days shorthanded, finding himself through on Tyler Beskorowany on a breakaway and delivering a cool finish.
Two periods down and Glasgow were giving their hosts a game, to the delight of the fans hoping to see an opening day win.

Darcy Murphy hit the post with a chance, but Belfast soon retook their lead when Starrett got something on JJ Piccinich’s initial shot, only for Jordan Boucher to appear and slot in the rebound.
Their lead last a minute until Clan’s captain Dyson Stevenson fired one over Beskorowany’s shoulder from the inside left and the visitors were level once again.

Giants had the last word with three minutes to go as Lewis Hook managed to get a redirect in front of the crease from Jeff Baum’s shot that proved enough for Adam Keefe’s side.

Head coach Malcolm Cameron was positive about the performance, but Giants’ late winner left him a little deflated.

“I was really impressed with our character,” he said. “For a team that’s only been on the ice eight times and not having played 12 or 13 games like our opponent, there’s a lot to said about game intensity.
“You can practice it as much as you want, but until you get on there with another team, it’s a different animal.
“I’m encouraged enough that I saw I lot of character from the group. There were times when they had significant zone time in our end. We bent, but we didn’t break and didn’t give up a lot of interior shots.
“It’s kind of heartbreaking because we battled hard then we let one in with three minutes to go. Fatigue started to set in and maybe a lack of communication and a guy’s open in front of the net for the tip. It’s unfortunate.

“We knew they would be up for this one after losing heavily on Saturday so we weathered the storm and had some really good looks.

“The sharpness will come in time and we showed enough character in the game to give me some encouragement.”

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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