Giants Take First In Double Header Weekend – Steelers 2:5 Giants

Game Summary

With the return of retro night and legends from the 96/97 season, the Steelers went down at the hands of last years Grand Slam Champions, the Belfast Giants as the Steelers dominated the shot count but couldn’t make it count.

A one goal lead for the Giants in the first was turned into a three goal lead at the end of forty minutes although the Steelers did get themselves on the board via a powerplay goal from Marco Vallerand. Despite relentless effort in the last twenty, another powerplay goal for Saucerman was cancelled out by a late Empty Net goal as the Giants took the first two points available in the double header weekend as both teams go at it again tomorrow night.

First Period [0-1]

A sole goal from the visitors saw them take a one goal lead into the second period. A goal slightly against the run of play as the Steelers dominated the shot count with Belfast starter, Jackson Whistle saving the Giants of several occasions throughout the first twenty.

Best chances of the period for the Steelers going to Tansey whose shot from a backboard rebound was saved brilliantly by a scrambling Whistle and Simpson who stripped the puck back off his man at centre ice and got himself in behind the Giants defence but could only find Whistle’s stomach with a puck that wouldn’t settle.

The Giants goal coming at (17.09) as Blake Speers shot from around the right-wing circle could only be padded away by Greenfield into the path of Ara Nazarian who made no mistake at the back post.

Second Period [1-4]

One goal down heading into the second, but three down heading into the third as the Steelers faced an uphill battle to get anything from this one with the Giants well on top after forty.

Despite the Steelers continuing to lead the shot count, it’s goals in the back of the net that count and for the Giants that was another three into the back of Greenfield’s.

The first of those three and second of the night for the Giants coming at (23.47). The Steelers turning over the puck in the neutral zone and sending the Giants off two on one. Nevalainen with a last ditch attempt stretching out full length on the ice but all in vein as the pass by Jacob Friend found Matthew McLeod, who finished low on Greenfield!

Bang bang for the Giants as the third came shortly afterwards at (26.24) with Ciaran Long in down the left wing and his shot just for through the defences of Greenfield with the puck just doing enough to trickle over the line.

A spark was needed and that came on the powerplay for the Steelers with Tedesco taking a seat in the penalty box for high sticking. A nice quick passage of passes then found Vallerand in his favourite place on the ice although the angle looked to be against him, but he somehow found enough time and a gap above Whistle’s shoulder to get the Steelers back within two at (27.37).

With the Steelers pushing to get back in the contest, Tansey was called for boarding in his own corner with the referees having deemed him to go through the numbers of his Giants counterpart, and the Giants returned the powerplay effort of the Steelers with a powerplay goal of their own at (39.26). An horrendous deflection for Greenfield as Tedesco sent one across the blue paint to fire off Nevalainen’s skate and into the goal to give the Giants a three goal leading heading into the final period of regulation.

Third Period [2-5]

Despite the best efforts of the Steelers, the opening game and two points of the weekend went to the Giants as an even third period saw them come out victorious by three.

The Steelers continuing to lead the shot count, and getting back to within two at (52.08) with another powerplay goal, this time courtesy of Colton Saucerman who sent one in from the blue line and with Whistle screened it went through the melee of players in-front.

The steelers continued to press, but try their most it wasn’t to be as the Giants regained their 3 goal advantage at (59.28) as the puck was won back at their own blue line and fired home at the other end by Matthew McLeod.

Awards & League Table

A stellar performance from Jackson Whistle was awarded with the Man of the Match for the Belfast Giants before Marco Vallerand picked up the award for the Steelers for his 1+1.

With the Cardiff Devils coming out victorious over the Nottingham Panthers, the gap at the top is once again back to 9 points with the Steelers holding a game in-hand which will take place tomorrow. 12 points still required by the Steelers to take the Elite League title.

Up Next

A quick turnaround for both teams as the second game of the double header takes place tomorrow with a 4pm face-off – see you there!