Match report

Giants edge Blaze at the Skydome

Blaze 3
Giants 4

A hat-trick by GB international forward Scott Conway helped the Belfast Giants to a 5-3 win against the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze in an entertaining and fast-paced game at the Skydome Arena.

The Blaze were still missing recently signed Finnish forward Janne Kivilahti but were otherwise at full strength. The Giants were without former Blaze forward Ben Lake and Canadian forward Darcy Murphy.

The first period saw the Blaze have an early powerplay opportunity after just 76 seconds. But they were unable to take advantage and it was the Giants who took the lead when defenceman Kevin Raine fired the puck past Blaze netminder C.J. Motte with a one timer at 9.56.

Belfast thought they had extended their lead a couple of minutes later when the puck ended up in the Blaze net again, but the goal was waved off because the net was off its moorings. And as the period wound down the Giants were unlucky not to extend their lead when they hit the bar on a breakaway.

Coventry made the ideal start to the second period when Canadian forward Johnny Curran fired past Giants netminder Tyler Beskorowany through traffic from a pass from Dillon Eichstadt at 21.09.

With the period just past the halfway point, the Giants re-took the lead through Conway at 32.58. But the Blaze were soon back on level terms when man-of-the-match Curran fired home his second of the night from a pass from Janne Laakkonen at 36.52.

After both sides created chances in the early part of the third period, it was the Giants who went back in front again through a great shot from Conway at 50.02. Then, with the teams playing four-on-four, the Blaze drew level again when Evan Bloodoff fired past Beskorowany unassisted at 52.53.

Following a defensive turnover by Coventry, man-of-the-match Conway scored his hat-trick goal at 55.41.

With the Blaze pulling Motte in search for an equaliser, it was the away side who finished the scoring when Raine fired the puck the length of the ice and into the empty net at 59.13.