Sandrock Fires Giants Winner In Blaze Battle
The Stena Line Belfast Giants took the win in Coventry thanks to a Robby Sandrock winner in an impressive performance on the road during Premier Sports’s first live game of the season. The win sees the Giants remain top of the Elite League and the Erhardt Conference ahead of Sunday’s second half of this weekend’s double header in Coventry.
The game began at an electric pace with the two teams going toe-to-toe during the opening 20 minutes in Coventry. Both netminders, Stephen Murphy for Belfast and Coventryâ€™s Mike Zacharias were busy throughout the period, turning away 26 shots in total however it was Zacharian first to pick the puck out of the net. At 17:27 Dustin Whitecotton opened the scoring, finishing well past the Blaze netminder following a nice pass from Colin Shields to send the large Giants travelling support crazy. The Giants fans did not have long to wait to cheer again with Colin Shields finishing off a nice Giants move following a pin point pass from Jeffrey Szwez to give the Giants a 2-0 lead at the end of the 1st period.
The home side made a determined start to the second period and they were handed a lifeline from an unusual source. Coventry talisman Shea Guthrie pulled a move in the Giants zone, fired the puck across Murphyâ€™s crease and it was James Griffin who bundled the puck home for his first goal of the season. The Giants tried desperately to restore their two goal lead however they could not find a way past Mike Zacharias despite two 5-on-3 powerplay opportunities to finish the period.
The final period began like the second with the Blaze battling to draw level with the Giants and at 46:55, they did. Ryan Ginand, the Elite Leagueâ€™s leading scorer took a shot which was saved by Stephen Murphy only for the puck to fall at the stick of Brian McMillin, who gladly poked the puck into the net and tie the game at 2-2. Despite a great Coventry comeback, it was Robby Sandrock who would break Blaze hearts, hammering the puck home at during a 5-on-3 powerplay at 54:23 to give the Giants the two vital Elite League points.
Remember, you can watch Sunday’s Blaze v Giants game LIVE in McCools at the Odyssey Arena from 4pm. Pre-game we’ll have a Q&A with Giants legends Graeme Walton, Shane Johnson, Chris McGimpsey and Jason Bowen! Entrance fee of Â£4 per Adult and Â£2 per U18 to include a complimentary drink.
It's all over and the GIANTS WIN!! Final score 3-2 with goals from Whitecotton, Shields and a game winning goal by Sandrock!!
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) November 23, 2013