The Stena Line Belfast Giants fell to a 5-1 defeat on Sunday at the hands of the Sheffield Steelers. The scoreline was harsh on the visitors with the Giants having a goal controversially waved off with the Steelers leading 1-0.
Stephen Murphy once again started in net for the Giants with Adam Keefe the healthy scratch for this one.
The Giants had the best of the opening period, outshooting the Steelers 13-9, however it was the hosts who lead after 20 minutes through Mathieu Roy’s deflected powerplay goal at 12:00.
1:46 into the second threw up a moment of controversy as James Desmarais and Chris Higgins linked up well to force the puck into the net, only for Referee Schmejkal to wave off the goal for ‘kicking’.
At 26:26, tempers flared as Michael Quesnele dropped the gloves with former Giant Davey Phillips at centre ice.
Levi Nelson doubled the Steelers lead at 20:59 when his slapshot flew high into the Giants net. At 36:56 it was 3-0 thanks to Jesse Schultz’s powerplay goal assisted by Ben O’Connor and Mathieu Roy.
Another moment of note in this game came at 38:50 when Guillaume Desbiens was given a Game Misconduct for ‘Charging’ on David Rutherford, who required medical attention which halted the game for a long period of time. In fact, the Referee sent both teams to the locker room with the remaining 70 seconds of the second period being played directly before the third period.
UPDATE: @DjRutherford91 has undergone a scan, which is thankfully all clear. He is leaving the hospital to return to be with his teammates.
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) November 20, 2016
Jesse Schultz made it 4-0 at 49:47 before Ben O’Connor score the home side’s final goal of the night at 57:08.
Jim Vandermeer and Colton Fretter dropped the gloves at 16:42 into the final period. The Giants grabbed a late consolation through Colin Shields who netted at 57:24 to keep the visitors from being shut-out in Sheffield.
Next up for the Giants is another weekend on the road, with a clash with the Nottingham Panthers on Friday before facing the Manchester Storm on Saturday for the first time this season.
Sheffield Steelers 5-1 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Giants Man of the Match
#19 Colin Shields
Photos: Dean Woolley