Not a night to remember in Belfast

Not a night to remember in Belfast – Giants continue to have Panthers’ number.

The GMB Panthers miserable run of results against the Belfast Giants this season continued on Friday in a game that was largely one to forget.

Panthers had a few flashes of good play but overall the 7-3 defeat was thoroughly deserved on the balance of play.

The coaches will be hoping for much better when the sides meet again in Belfast on Sunday afternoon.

On Friday, Logan MacMillan returned to the line-up but there was no Robert Farmer (suspended). Jeff Dimmen, hopefully on his way back from injury has traveled but did not play. David Clarke (impending birth) did not make the trip nor did the injured Jason Williams.

Despite a slow start by the visitors, there were no goals in the opening ten minutes but three in three-and-a-half minutes saw the Giants take a commanding first period lead into the break.

Panthers were brighter at the start of the second period and when they stole the puck centre-ice early in the middle period Chris Lawrence carried it forward to poke home short-handed. Hopes of a big comeback were quickly dashed when Giants restored the three goal cushion on the same powerplay. They increased the lead with another powerplay goal before scoring on a two-on-one breakaway just before the half-way stage to make it 6-1 at which point Dan Green replaced Miika Wiikman in the visitors’ goal.

He kept a clean sheet until the 44th minute when Shields hammered the puck in off him for a hat-trick goal short-handed. After a spell of Panthers’ pressure Lawrence hoiked home his second of the game from close-range and in the final minute Deivids Sarkanis pounced on a loose puck and chipped it forward for the advancing Dan Spang to dig it out of his feet and roof a late consolation marker that gave the scoreline a little more respectability than the balance of play possibly deserved.

7 - 3
Shots on Goal
30
Shots on Goal
28
Goals by Period
3,3,1
Goals by Period
0,1,2
Powerplays
2/6
Powerplays
0/4