Credit: Dean Woolley
Belfast control the ice in Sheffield
The Stena Line Belfast Giants defeated the Sheffield Steelers 4-2 away on Saturday. With the Giants returning to Elite League action following Wednesday’s 8-0 Challenge Cup win in Dundee, Blair Riley struck the game winning goal during the final period at 49.44
Saturday’s victory in Sheffield sees the Giants remain in first place, one point clear of the Nottingham Panthers who have played four games more.
Tyler Beskorowany started in the Giants net with the visitors missing Pat Dwyer, Guillaume Gelinas, Colin Shields, Matt Towe and Andrew Dickson.
Rutherford Edges Giants In Front
It was the visitors who would take a deserved lead after setting the tone in the opening period of play. Jim Vandermeer skated the puck into the Steelers zone, reversed a pass to Blair Riley whose shot rebounded in front of David Rutherford for the forward to slam home at 12:20.
Steelers Reply With Powerplay Strike
The hosts hit back in the middle period when former Giant Rob Dowd struck at 24:55 with the Steelers on the powerplay, assisted by Josh Pitt and Josh McFadden.
Frantic Final Period Goes Giants Way
After one goal in each of the opening two periods - this end-to-end game went up a gear in the final period.
Belfast regained the lead in the second minute of the final period. Following good work by Hunter Bishop and Jonathan Ferland, Francis Beauvillier followed up on his initial shot to shoot high into the Steelers net.
Giants Captain Blair Riley gave his side a two goal advantage at 49:44 as he and David Rutherford combined well for the visitors third goal.
Eric Neiley set up a frantic finish when he pulled one back for the Steelers at 51:23, scoring on a penalty shot awarded by the Referee.
However Darcy Murphy secured the two points for the Giants with an unassisted empty net finish at 59:49.
Sheffield Steelers 2-4 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Giants Man of the Match
#25 Blair Riley (1 Goal + 1 Assist & Game Winning Goal)