Giants win big over Flames in back to back opener
In Belfast, 5 unanswered Giants goals in the middle frame set them to a 5-1 lead that would be more than they would need to weather a short lived 3rd period Flames rally on their way to a 7-3 defeat of the visitors from Spectrum.
There was no scoring in the opening frame, and Travis Fullerton was the busier of the two netminders with 9 shots to just 5 on Stephen Murphy at the other end of the ice.
Flames opened the offensive record at 23:34 through Jamie Crooks, but the roughly 5-minute lead would be the only one they would enjoy across the evening thanks to 5 unanswered that followed by Giants beginning at 28:07 on a powerplay when David Goodwin levelled. They added another man advantage marker with a Bobby Farnham strike and Liam Morgan made it 3 powerplay goals in a row at 33:15 ahead of Jordan Smotherman and Elgin Pearce follow ups just 11 seconds apart inside the period’s last 4 minutes.
Wouter Peeters took over for Fullerton in the final set, and the visitors pushed back up front when Ben Davies and Erik Lindhagen goals 70 seconds about halfway through the 3rd pulled them within a pair. Liam Morgan, however, poured a bucket of cold water on any full comeback thoughts when he re-stored a 3-goal difference then a final Ryan Lowney goal completed the Giants win.
“The 2nd period obviously did us in,” said Paul Dixon. “Taking 4 penalties in a row to put ourselves on a very long virtually consecutive stretch shorthanded like that is not the way any team is going to get themselves to a win,” said Paul Dixon.
“Tomorrow night our first objective is to stay out of the box and try to get after them 5 on 5 and see how we fare.”
“I liked that we pushed back in the 3rd to get closer again, but it was not going to be our night and now we are going to get back to the hotel re-set to take another run at and see if we can do better tomorrow night.”
Photo of Flames forward Owen Griffiths working against Bobby Farnham. Photo by Belfast Giants.