Glasgow Clan saw their hopes of ending Belfast Giants’ recent good run of form dashed when their captain Blair Riley inspired them to a 4-1 win.
It was another disappointing night for Pete Russell’s men after Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to the current champions Cardiff Devils, but one there will be lessons learned from.
While the first period yielded nothing by way of goals, both sides had their chances to test either goalie, but to no avail.
Belfast went close when Kyle Baun struck the post with a low one as he glided in from the left, but couldn’t find a way past.
Then Clan almost got one at the other end right at the end of the first on a breakaway as Scott Tanski laid off for Vaclav Stupka, but Giants goalie Tyler Beskorowany got the crucial block.
The visitors made the breakthrough four minutes into the middle session when a long pass freed Blair Riley, who slid the puck under Rumpel to open the scoring.
Within a few minutes, the Giants captain was celebrating a second when Guillaume Gelinas fired in from the blue line, with Riley’s touch diverting in the net.
Then he completed his hat-trick when he came in from the left and smashed a shot into the top left hand corner of Rumpel’s net to extend the Belfast lead to three.
There was much to ponder from the home side and they eventually found a way back with their first shorthanded goal to narrow the gap.
A breakaway saw Matt Beca and Scott Pitt combine, with the latter the one to force the puck home to give the home fans something to believe in.
However the Giants killed them off soon after when Hunter Bishop made his way in from the left, but his chance was denied by Rumpel, only for Jonathan Boxill to tuck away the rebound and conclude victory for Adam Keefe’s side.