Belfast Giants 2-1 Guildford Flames
Belfast Giants will go for a Grand Slam after scoring two goals in the final period to edge past Guildford Flames by a goal.
The puck was dropped on Playoff weekend 2019 with the first game of the EIHL’s final weekend celebration being battled out between the grand slam searching Belfast Giants and new dogs to the playoffs Guilford Flames. In a free flowing first period of the game both defences and netminders stood strong keeping scores all tied up at zeros. Each team had extended offensive zone pressure but couldn’t find a way past netminders Beskorowany and Fullerton who both made solid saves in the first frame to stone wall the searching offences.
The deadlock was broken little over four minutes into the second with a top corner snipe by Guilford’s Ian Watters who found himself open in the slot and made no mistake finishing over Beskorowany’s blocker. The Giants tried to work their way back into the game with increased physical play but were unable to level the game up, the Guilford defence would protect their slender lead heading into the third period.
The third period saw an increase in intensity with both teams creating chances on goal. The Giants capitalised on pressure levelling the game just before half way through the final period when Johnathan Ferland capitalised on a Chris Higgins set-up. The Giants would then take the lead five minutes before the end of the game thanks to a Patrick Dwyer goal which would be enough for the Giants to secure their place in Sunday’s final and continue the search for the Grand Slam.
Adam Keefe’s men will now await the winners of the Cardiff vs. Nottingham game.