Four-midable Giants Take Full Points Against Steelers
The Stena Line Belfast Giants proved their quality with an impressive road win in Sheffield on Sunday night. Following a defeat in the previous meeting between these two teams, the Giants looked a team determined to avenge that result and show off their Elite League title credentials against title rivals, the Steelers. The win sees the Giants move six points clear at the top of the Elite League and completes a four point weekend following Saturday’s 2-0 win in Hull.
The Belfast Giants got off to a flyer and early pressure on their title rivals paid dividends and saw them jump into an early lead. With Steelers forward Jeff Legue drawn into taking a hooking penalty – the Giants went on the Powerplay and took full advantage thanks to a Jeffrey Szwez shot past Frank Doyle in the Sheffield net at 3:43. The goal was Szwez’s 11th of the season and was assisted by Dustin Whitecotton and Calvin Elfring. Within a few minutes the visitors had extended their lead, this time it was Robby Sandrock who found a way past Doyle again on the Powerplay at 5:14 with Hewitt sitting in the penalty box for interference. However the Steelers began to find their way back into the game and at 8:25 they made it a one-goal game thanks to Tim Spencer and assisted by former Giant, Rob Dowd while on the Powerplay. The momentum was with the home team and at 14:19 the wind was taken out to their sails. Jeffrey Szwez pulled a move in the Sheffield zone and dished the puck to Colin Shields who buried a slapshot into the Steelers net to regain his team’s two goal lead.
Following a dramatic opening period, the second period was more of a tense affair. The Giants had the better of the chances but found Frank Doyle in a more determined mood following three goals against him in the first period. Indeed, the Giants enjoyed two powerplay opportunities during the 2nd period, but couldn’t enjoy the same one-man advantage joy they experienced in the opening 20 minutes.
The final period saw the Belfast Giants go about trying to hold onto their two goal advantage over the Steelers and at 44:04 Dustin Whitecotton gave his team a valuable 4-1 lead, assisted by Cody Brookwell and Jeffrey Szwez. Â The home side hit back almost immediately with Jeff Legue scoring Sheffield’s second goal of the night on the powerplay at 47:23. Sheffield began to up their intensity and piled the pressure on their visitors only to find man of the match, Stephen Murphy in solid form in the Giants goal. Despite a late onslaught from the Steelers, they could not find a way through and the Giants skated away with full points and a four point weekend to remain top of the league.
Sheffield Steelers 2-4 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Game over & the Giants WIN!!! Final Score in Sheffield: Steelers 2-4 Belfast Giants Goals from Szwez, Sandrock, Shields & Whitecotton!
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) November 10, 2013
Photo: Dean Woolley