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Lightning Grounded As Giants Win Weekend Opener

The Stena Line Belfast Giants got their three game road weekend off to a great start with a Friday win in Milton Keynes. A brace from David Rutherford and one goal apiece for Francis Beauvillier and Guillaume Gelinas made it seven wins in-a-row for the Giants.

The Giants started with Tyler Beskorowany in net and were missing Colin Shields, Pat Dwyer, Matt Towe, Jim Vandermeer and Andrew Dickson.

Lightning And Giants Evenly Matched In Opening Period

Both netminders, Belfast’s Beskorowany and Lightning’s Patrick Killeen, were called into regular action in the opening period. Beskorowany and the Giants penalty kill were solid in the first period – killing off two MK powerplays.

With just over seven minutes gone, Darcy Murphy raced into the Lightning zone and his effort rang off the post as the Giants came the closest to scoring in the opening period.

Giants Take Control In Middle Period

Francis Beauvillier gave the visitors a well earned lead at 27:51. The forward cleverly picked up on the rebound from Mark Garside’s shot from the blueline and cooly slotted high into the MK net.

Three minutes later and the Giants had doubled their advantage. This time it was a powerplay effort as David Rutherford was on-hand at the back post at 30:53 to slam home after Darcy Murphy’s shot rebounded off Killeen.

MK Hit Back Though Giants Close Out Win

The home side got off to the best possible start in the final period. Andreas Valdix roofed the puck, assisted by Radek Meidl, at 44:07 to reduce the deficit to one.

There was a moment of controversy at 52:10 when Cole Shudra was given a 5 + Game Misconduct penalty and sent to the locker room after being assessed a Check from Behind on Kendall McFaull. Both netminders also received two minutes for their part in the incident, Beskorowany for Roughing and Killeen for Leaving the Crease.

The Giants took full advantage of the powerplay – doubling their tally on the night. Guillaume Gelinas’ one-timer, assisted by Francis Beauvillier and David Rutherford, made it 3-1 at 54:10 and then David Rutherford’s classy strike at 55:42, assisted by Guillaume Gelinas, extended the Giants lead to three.

Final Score
Milton Keynes Lightning 1-4 Stena Line Belfast Giants

Giants Man of the Match
#91 David Rutherford (2 Goals + 1 Assist)

Next Up?

The Giants will return to the ice on Saturday for their second game in Milton Keynes in as many days, face-off 7pm. Sunday sees the Giants travel to Guildford for their final game of the weekend, face-off 6pm.

Belfast’s next games at The SSE Arena are Thursday 15th – Saturday 17th November in the Continental Cup Semi-Final. Tickets are now on sale from ticketmaster.ie as well as from the Arena Box Office in person or by calling 028 9073 9074.