Nickerson goal seals Giants’ win and four-point weekend
Manchester Storm 1 - 2 Belfast Giants
A late game-winning goal from defenceman Matt Nickerson earned the Belfast Giants an away win over the Manchester Storm on Sunday, sealing their four-point weekend.
The Giants had been boosted by a crucial 2-1 win over the Sheffield Steelers back in Belfast on Saturday, before hitting the road once again to take on the Storm less than 24 hours later.
Chris Higgins gave the travelling Giants the lead with a goal in the first period from assists by Mark Garside and Michael Forney.
But the Storm didn’t take long to find a reply, after a busy spell for referee Steve Brown.
Giants captain Adam Keefe went toe-to-toe with the Storm’s Dallas Erhardt, with both men taking fighting majors.
Then, seconds later, Derrick Walser was penalised for charging and went on to take a misconduct penalty for abuse of officials.
Jim Vandermeer also headed to the penalty box for slashing, while tempers flared between Michael Quesnele and Darian Dziurzynski and they both sat for roughing.
It was while the Storm were on the powerplay that Trevor Johnson grabbed a goal to make it all square at 1-1 heading into the first break.
After a scoreless second period, it was Nickerson who broke the deadlock with less than 10 minutes left to play.
That proved to be the game winner and the Giants rounded off their weekend with another 2-1 win and another two points in the bag.
It was also netminder Jackson Whistle’s second start in a row and his second Man of the Match performance.
While Coach Walser wanted to see the team find a way to score more goals, he said he was happy with the win - having wanted his side to redeem themselves after their last outing against the Storm.
And goal-scorer Nickerson told Patrick Smyth from the Giants’ official podcast A View From The Bridge that the team had battled hard for the win.After reigniting his Race To 20, he added of his crucial shot: “It went in and I’ll take it!”
The Belfast Giants are next in action back in Manchester when they take on the Storm again on Wednesday, this time in their Challenge Cup quarter-final first leg game.