Giants beat Blaze with strong start

A strong start helped the Belfast Giants to a 4-1 victory over the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze at the SEE Arena on Saturday night. 


After Coventry nearly scored on the opening shift of the game, the first period belonged to the Giants who scored three unanswered in the opening 20 minutes.  


Curtis Leonard was first on the board, stepping in from his defensive position to fire past C.J. Motte at 7.53.


The offensive minded blue-liner then turned provider for ex-Dundee Star Elgin Pearce who continued his fine goal-scoring start for Belfast to make it 2-0 (10.55).


It was 3-0 on 13.18 as another late-comer to the Giants line-up, Swede Rickard Palmberg beat C.J. Motte forcing Coventry Head Coach Danny Stewart to call a time-out.


It didn’t get any better for Stewart’s side to begin the second as Palmberg registered again for 4-0 (24.01).


With a penalty-shot just before the half-way mark, Ross Venus was given the opportunity to break the deadlock for Blaze, but he was denied by Giants’ netminder Shane Owen.


The visitors finally managed to beat Owen at 34.00, as first-year pro and man-of-the-match Dillon Eichtadt scored his first competitive goal.


The strike gave Blaze some jump, and they ended the second period looking far more like their usual selves after a tough start to the game.


Momentum stayed with Coventry in the third but with no more scoring the buzzer sounded on a 4-1 Giants victory.


Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “I thought our first three or four minutes were ok but when they got that first one, I don’t know what happened, but it really deflated us. But credit to Belfast they were good in the first and unfortunately, we just weren’t at the races. We lost a lot of puck battles, we were turning pucks over and our D zone wasn’t good but again, credit to Belfast as I felt they played a good game and we just didn’t.”


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