Former Belfast Giants game night announcer Stephen Clements has been remembered with a poignant tribute, before the team went on to take a home win over the Sheffield Steelers.
The popular radio presenter tragically died earlier this week at the age of just 47, prompting an outpouring of shock and sadness from fans, colleagues and friends.
Giants head coach Adam Keefe, who was friends with Stephen, told UTV in the wake of the news: “Belfast has lost its voice.”
On Friday night, hockey fans used to hearing the presenter’s warmth and wit during his stint as master of ceremonies on game nights were able to pay their own tribute with a minute’s applause.
His former breakfast show co-host, Q Radio’s Cate Conway, was among those present.
Following the tribute, it was down to business on the ice for the Giants against the current Elite league leaders Sheffield.
The Steelers may have opened the scoring with a goal from Nikolai Lemtyugov early in the first period, but it only took Bobby Farnham 10 seconds to bring the Belfast side back level.
The Giants’ influential Swedish signing Rickard Palmberg then made it 2-1 and the hosts took the narrow lead into the break.
Sheffield tied things back up again with a goal from Josef Hrabal in the second period, but the Giants found a way to forge ahead in the third.
David Goodwin buried the rebound after a shot from Mark Garside for the Giants’ third goal of the game, before Elgin Pearce found the empty net vacated by the Sheffield netminder for the extra skater in the dying seconds.
That allowed the Belfast side to run out the 4-2 winners.
They still sit third in the league table and are next in action on Sunday, when they travel to England to face the Guildford Flames.