Giants take big win over Steelers in second clash
Belfast Giants 5 - 1 Sheffield Steelers
The Belfast Giants split the weekend points with the Sheffield Steelers after a big 5-1 home win in another feisty clash on Saturday night.
The game quickly looked set to be played with same hot-tempered intensity as the previous night.
The Giants’ Brendan Connolly and the Steelers’ Davy Phillips took roughing penalties after clashing less than two minutes in.
Then the visitors had Andreas Jamtin – who scored twice on Friday night – booted from the game.
He was penalised for hooking and fighting after jumping David Rutherford while he was down on the ice, with the game misconduct added to his two and five-minute penalties.
Unlike the last time out, it was the Giants that opened the scoring mid-way through that first period.
Colin Shields got the goal, before Rutherford added another seconds later.
The Steelers ran into more penalty trouble when Miika Franssila was handed a 2+10 for a check from behind.
And the Giants forged ahead with a goal from Jonathan Ferland, assisted by Shields – getting his 600th point as a Belfast player – and Connolly.
In the second period, Rutherford got his second goal of the game - with a sweet finish of an assist from Giants captain Blair Riley – to give the Giants a comfortable 4-0 lead.
With Jackson Whistle making some big saves in the Belfast net, the Steelers had to wait until almost mid-way through the third to open their goal account courtesy of Ben O’Connor.
But, it wasn’t nearly enough – especially with Shields on hand to capitalise on an unfortunate move by the Steelers' O'Connor.
The Giants' all-time leading scorer grabbed another goal to put the icing on the 5-1 win.
Splitting the points with their rivals was crucial for the Giants as their league campaign continues.
They are, however, next in action in their Challenge Cup quarter-final second leg game against the Fife Flyers on Tuesday night at 7pm.
The sides are locked at 3-3 after the first leg in Scotland last month.