Giants Sting Hull With Shutout Win
The Stena Line Belfast Giants dominated Saturday night’s game in Hull to take the two points with a 2-0 win and extend their lead at the top of the Elite League. Despite a fine performance from Hull’s netminder Ben Bowns, goals from Dustin Whitecotton and Calvin Elfring gave the Giants the win and a second shutout of the season for Stephen Murphy.
The Giants came flying out of the blocks for their first of eight straight away games and piled the pressure on the home side from the puck drop. Stingray Matthew Davies was pressured into taking a penalty for Hooking after 5:23 and was left to regret his actions as, with just over a minute of the penalty expired, Cody Brookwell andÂ Colin Shields fed the puck to Dustin Whitecotton who fired the puck past Ben Bowns in the Hull net to give the Giants a 1-0 lead and the forward’s fourth goal of the season. Both teams had plenty of powerplay opportunities during the opening period but found both netminders in great form, first with Bowns shutting down a Giants 5-on-3 powerplay and then Stephen Murphy, in the Giants net, saving from a Davies shot at point blank range to keep the visitors ahead at the end of the period.
The Giants began the second period in the same fashion as the first, dominating the period right from the off and they got their reward early on. Calvin Elfring, assisted by Dustin Whitecotton and Cody Brookwell, shot the Giants into a 2-0 lead thanks to a beautiful shot that nestled in the Hull net at 25:04. The goal was the defenceman’s 6th of the season and leaves Elfring third in the Giants goalscoring standings after 17 games. Â The second Giants goal sparked the home team to life and the Hull Stingrays began to claw their way back into the game. With Ben Bowns on form in goal – the Stingrays pushed forward in search of another home comeback against the Giants this season and forced Stephen Murphy into action on a number of occasions. Indeed, it was Murphy’s opposite number, Ben Bowns who again came to his team’s rescue, shutting out another Belfast 5-on-3 powerplay with Tendler and Mariani in the penalty box to keep the score at 2-0 at the end of the second period. A hint at Bowns’ fine form was in the Shots on Goal count with the Giants having 45 shots in the opening two periods to Hull’s 12.
The third period was a cagey affair with the Belfast Giants determined to see out the game and avoid a similar comeback that the Stingrays staged in the previous meeting between these two teams. Ben Bowns again continued his top form in the Hull net to keep out the Giants for the entire period but his team’s final period efforts were not enough as the Belfast Giants skated away with full points ahead of Sunday’s important Elite League clash with title rivals Sheffield.
Hull Stingrays 0-2 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Game Over and the Belfast Giants WIN!! Final Score in Hull: Stingrays 0-2 Giants Giants goals from Dustin Whitecotton and Calvin Elfring!
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) November 9, 2013