No Such Thing As A Friendly In Hockey

The Stena Line Belfast Giants recorded their first win of the season in front of almost 4,000 fans at the Odyssey Arena, proving the point that there is no such thing as a friendly in ice hockey.

Just 32 seconds into the game one of Steve Thornton’s off season signings Mark McCutcheon redirected a centring pass from Calvin Elfring sending the puck past Cardiff net minder Ben Bowns to give the home team the advantage, netting his first goal in a Giants uniform.

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Cardiff got back on level terms a few minutes later as another new face to the league Brent Walton found a way past Giants man of the match Stephen Murphy to tie the game at one, but it was Mark Garside’s strike that turned out to be the game winner at 8.32 on a feed from Adam Keefe to make it 2-1.

The new look Devils have added an abundance of size and strength to their roster and played hard and physical for the duration. 2 player ejections and no fewer than 4 fighting majors tell the tale of the game which gave fans at the Odyssey plenty to cheers about.

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Giants Captain Adam Keefe was ejected from the game after getting involved in an altercation between Darryl Lloyd and Jesse Mychan. That was however only the start of the rough stuff as Gareth Roberts dropped the gloves with Andrew Hotham and Davey Phillips also took exception to Mychan with the pair going toe to toe late in the second period.

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The battle moves to Cardiff now as the teams meet tomorrow night in the Giants final pre season game before competitive action resumes next weekend with a 3 game road stretch in Scotland.

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