Storm cast cloud over Giants’ winning run

The Giants took on the Storm in their fifth game in a week. Credit: Presseye
  • Belfast Giants 1 - 2 Manchester Storm

By Victoria Steveley

After a long run of wins, the Belfast Giants narrowly lost out 2-1 to the Manchester Storm at the SSE Arena on Wednesday night.

The Storm were out for revenge after being dumped out of the Challenge Cup by the Giants last week - and they got it in the end.

Coronation Street legend Charlie Lawson was there to cheer on the Giants, after making an earlier appearance for a live instalment of the team’s official podcast A View From The Bridge.

The team’s first ever coach Dave Whistle also joined the AVFTB crew and was then on hand for the ceremonial puck drop.

Having been in charge for the first Giants' game all those years ago, he was able to watch his son Jackson in action as the Giants’ starting netminder more than 1,000 games later.

The Giants and the Storm battled out a scoreless opening period, despite plenty of early pressure from the hosts and also some big saves from Whistle.

Halfway through the second period, it was the Giants who broke the deadlock.

James Desmarais scored from an assist by player-coach Derrick Walser to give the home side the lead.

James Desmarais scored for the Giants against the Storm. Credit: Presseye

Connor Varley had a prime opportunity to level for the Storm when he broke free inside the last two minutes of the period and went one-on-one with Whistle – only to sky his shot.

But, with less than a minute to go before the break, Taylor Dickin did scramble the puck over the line to make it 1-1 heading into the final period.

David Rutherford in action for the Giants. Credit: Presseye

Less than a minute after the restart, the Storm put themselves into the lead with a goal from Cody Cartier.

And the visitors hung on for the win, despite the Giants pressing hard as the clock ran out.

The Storm celebrate their victory. Credit: Presseye

The Giants had been unbeaten in their last 10 games, having gone on a run that put them second in the league and chasing the leaders Cardiff Devils.

They still sit second, six points behind the Devils and with a game in hand.

The Belfast Giants are next in action on Friday 30 December when they face the Braehead Clan at the SSE Arena, with face-off at 7pm.