Giants Back On Track With Victory Over Nottingham
The Stena Line Belfast Giants got back to winning ways with a 4-1 win over the Nottingham Panthers on Wednesday Night at the Odyssey Arena.
It was all Giants from the get go, with two goals in the opening period to grab the lead that they never looked back from led by a Man of the Match performance from Chris Higgins and some stellar goaltending by Stephen Murphy.
Higgins opened the scoring at 13:44 with a nifty move around the Panthers defender before stuffing the puck past Craig Kowalski in net for Nottingham to take a 1-0 lead. Less than 2 minutes later, Dustin Whitecotton found linemate Jeffrey Szwez alone in front of the Panthers net and Szwez blasted home his 33rd goal of the season at 15:26.
The middle 20 minutes was a goaltending duel between two of the best in the league with Kowalski turning away all 13 shots he faced while Murphy was perfect through 40 minutes facing 10 shots in the 2nd period after stopping 9 in the first.
The Giants came out flying again in the 3rd period with Kevin Saurette connecting on a Higgins goalmouth pass to beat Kowalski for his 35th goal of the season, but the Panthers managed to break Murphyâ€™s shutout when Robert Farmer danced through the Giants defence to pull one back for the visitors at 13:01 to make it 3-1.
The Panthers pulled their goalie for a last ditch attempt at closing the gap in this one, but it was not to be and defenceman Davey Phillips found the back of the empty net with 16 seconds left on the clock to make the final scoreline Giants 4 Panthers 1.
Higgins and Saurette both finished with a goal and an assist while linemate Evan Cheverie picked up 2 assists, while Murphy made 33 saves on the night for his league leading 44th win of the season.
That's it, the third and final period at the Odyssey Arena & the Giants have beaten Nottingham! Final Score: Giants 4-1 Panthers
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) March 12, 2014