Belfast Giants faced off against the Fife Flyers in Kirkcaldy on Tuesday with the visitors leaving 4-1 victors.
With the win, the Giants moved within three points of the first placed Cardiff Devils with six games to play.
Two goals from Kris Beech. As well as strikes from Michael Forney and Mike Radja, gave the Giants the two points.
Belfast was without Matt Nickerson, Mark Garside, Johan Ejdepalm, and Brandon Benedict. However, they dominated proceedings, spending most of the period camped inside the Flyers half. The stats backed this up as the shot count was 17-5 in favour of the away side after the opening 20 minutes.
Giants took the lead in the first period as Michael Forney netted with 90 seconds remaining on the clock. Jim Vandermeer and Derrick Walser credited with the assist. It was the American’s 21st of the campaign. As a result of Ryan Dingle sitting in the Penalty Box for Goalie Interference.
Only 56 seconds had gone in the second period and Kris Beech with his 22nd goal of the season doubled the lead. David Brown was kept busy in the Fife net as Belfast continued to pepper his goal mouth. Although, their flow was broken up with five power plays to the home side.
Michael Dorr preyed on a Flyers’ pp. Scoring 81 seconds after the third-period faceoff to bring his side to within one. But, the Kirkcaldy-based side’s momentum was fleeting. Belfast restored their two-goal advantage thanks to Beech’s second of the game at 44:26. Five minutes later, Mike Radja ended the rout as he slotted in at the back post.
Head Coach, Todd Dutiaume, accepted his side were second best on the night, saying:
‘‘Some results you deserve, some you grind out – but that wasn’t the case tonight. This is the same hockey club which came out against Cardiff and won, but tonight we were disappointing.
‘‘Belfast looked like a team that wanted back into the title race. That was one of the most solid performances we have seen in this building this season. They were all over us.
“Anytime you get outshot four to one in your own building, and go 1 for 7 on the PP, you won’t win the game.’’
Dutiaume admitted they missed the buzz and leadership of injured Danny Stewart. The Flyers’ coach hopes to have him back in the line-up for the weekend. With upcoming away fixtures in Sheffield and Manchester . He will want an instant response from his men.
’’We’ll have a huge travelling support, and that is great,’’ he said. ‘‘We have to find a way to claw that performance back this weekend.
‘‘We need points to secure our play-off place and for the conference title. This is a huge weekend.’’
Michael Dorr (1+0), Philippe Paquet (0+1), Nicolas Rioux (0+1)
Fife Man of the Match: Kyle Haines
Kris Beech (2+0), Mike Forney (1+1), Mike Radja (1+0), Derrick Walser (0+2), Jim Vandermeer (0+1), Chris Higgins (0+1), David Rutherford (0+1)
Belfast Man of the Match: James Desmarais
Shots on Goal:
David Brown: 41
Stephen Murphy: 13
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