Giants powerplay dampens Blaze fire

Giants 6
v
Blaze 3

Genting Casino Coventry Blaze began the new year with a 6-3 defeat to Belfast Giants at the SSE Arena in the Elite League.

Blaze, without Boris Valabik after the facial injury he sustained in the New Year's Eve win at Nottingham Panthers, had ended 2015 with 11 points from seven games (5-1-1).

However, they trailed by two goals at the end of the first period with Kris Beech's opener on the powerplay at 5.06 followed by a Craig Peacock marker at 17.18.

Cale Tanaka, playing his 200th game in all EIHL competitions, cut the deficit 1.55 into the second period but Mike Radja restored Giants' two-goal cushion just 41 seconds later.

A five-on-three powerplay strike from Chris Higgins at 30.51 extended Giants' advantage only for a Jim Jorgensen powerplay marker to make it 4-2 at 38.39.

Giants added a fifth with their third powerplay goal of the night through Beech at 45.50 while Josh Godfrey with the man advantage, reduced the arrears at 55.25.

That was to be the final goal of the night for Blaze as Mike Radja grabbed his second at 57.25 to wrap up the 6-3 win for Giants.

"We chased the game tonight. We're better playing those one goal games, when we have to chase two plus goal leads it tends to open us up and it did that tonight. They had some timely calculated finishing and there was a parade of penalties in that second period. The 5-on-3 goal in particular was a big back breaker." - Head Coach Chuck Weber

Watch the highlights courtesy of Belfast Giants TV: