Close games on Saturday night

December 8, 2018 9:53 pm

Three home wins. and the Giants ending their mammoth road stretch with a victory, were the outcomes of Saturday night’s Elite League games, with three goals or less separating all the teams.

Guildford Flames 1-3 Belfast Giants

Belfast Giants returned to winning ways after two losses by inflicting Guildford’s second defeat in as many games.

The first period ended with the Giants ahead thanks to Blair Riley’s goal with 8:28 played, but it was in the middle session where the visitors secured the points in under a minute. Darcy Murphy doubled the Giants’ lead on a delayed penalty at 8:59, and 50 seconds later Francis Beauvillier made it three to give the Flames a mountain to climb.

The Flames did pull a goal back with 8:29 to go in the game thanks to Ian Watters, but it was the only time they were able to get past Tyler Beskorowany and the Giants completed their 17 straight away game series with a win.


Dundee Stars 5-2 MK Lightning

Dundee Stars kept extended winning streak going in the league to six games as they came from behind to beat MK.

Milton Keynes took the lead in Dundee just over halfway through the opening period. Czech Martin Mazanec got the goal which was enough to give the visitors a one-goal advantage after the first.

Dundee fought back in period two to lead after 40 minutes. Lukas Lundvald tied the game up just 2:39 into the period, and then a Drydn Dow effort put the Stars ahead with 3:12 left as he forced a rebound from Brian Hart’s shot over the line. The goal was reviewed for a potential kicking motion, but stood after the video had been looked at.

The hosts moved into a three goal lead early in the final period, at 46:25 after Charles Corcoran’s shot was spilled in front of the crease for Matt Bissionnette to eventually force home. Three then became four with 7:04 to go with a fantastic Matt Marquardt finish from a tight angle rocketing into the net. MK pulled a goal back with 1:33 to go through Nelson Armstrong, but the three-goal win was confirmed with an empty netter from Corcoran.

Manchester Storm 3-2 OT Nottingham Panthers

A 6-1 defeat midweek for the Storm to the Panthers in the Challenge Cup was made up for as Manchester took an overtime win in a well-contested battled tonight.

The Panthers were in the lead shortly before the opening period was over. Skating on the powerplay Marek Tvrdon opened the scoring at 17:20.

The second period belonged to the Storm who turned the game on its head either two goals in just over five minutes. Chance Braid tied the game with the hosts on a powerplay as he picked up Dane Byers’ shot in front of the net to slot past Michael Garnett at 31:43. With 16:49 on the clock Luke Moffatt followed in Linden Springer’s effort to score on the rebound, meaning the Storm went into the locker rooms after 40 minutes ahead.

The Panthers were level midway through the third through Mark Hurtubise at 49:41 and were then unlucky not to go back into the lead as Linden Springer sat in the Storm box on a minor penalty – some good Panthers pressure unable to find a way past Ginn.

Overtime was fantastically end to end, Poulin coming close to giving the Storm the extra point with 2:41 to go in the extra period. Eventually the hosts did go on to win it, Ciaran Long from close range on a rebound giving Manchester the win to break their negative series at 63:21.

Fife Flyers 5-2 Coventry Blaze

After their slump a few weeks ago, Fife Flyers now have two wins in a row as they look to get back in touch with the Top 3.

Coventry’s losing streak was extended on their visit to Scotland and things didn’t start well for the visitors either – only 3:24 played when Carl Finucci put the Flyers ahead. Luke Ferrara however pulled the Blaze back level at 14:04 as the sides headed into the first intermission all square.

As with other games this evening, it was the second period that was a pivotal time in the game, in Fife the Flyers running in three goals to take control of the match. Evan Bloodoff put Fife back ahead at 7:03, and 1:18 later Jordan Buesa make it 3-1. Just over six minutes before the period was out Ricards Birzins scored number four for the hosts to give them a comfortable lead.

Coventry did bring things back to a two-goal game through Ben Lake with 6:52 to go, but an empty net goal from Evan Stoflet at 58:26 wrapped up the win for Fife.


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