The Stena Line Belfast Giants battled back from a two goal deficit to take the win on Sunday in Manchester 6-4.
Four Darcy Murphy goals secured the points for the visitors as the Giants increased their lead to four points at the top of the Elite League standings ahead of the Cardiff Devils and Nottingham Panthers.
Tyler Beskorowany started in the Giants net with Belfast missing Pat Dwyer, Guillaume Gelinas, Colin Shields, Jonathan Boxill, Matt Towe, Paul Swindlehurst and Andrew Dickson.
Game Over | The Stena Line Belfast Giants win!!
FOUR Darcy Murphy strikes plus goals from Dustin Johner and David Rutherford secure the victory in Manchester🙌
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) December 16, 2018
Belfast Hit Back After Storm Double
It was the home side who would start this game best with two quick fire goals inside the opening five minutes. First, Evan Richardson picked up on the loose puck in front of the Giants net to slot home, assisted by Ciaran Long and Mike Hammond at 2:53. At 4:40 it was 2-0 when Luke Moffatt bundled the puck home, assisted by Dallas Ehrhardt and Rob Linsmayer.
Belfast pulled one back at 13:48 when David Rutherford skated the puck into the Storm zone, flipped the puck to Darcy Murphy who found the onrushing Rutherford to slot past Matt Ginn in the Manchester net.
The Giants kept up their momentum and drew level soon after when Kyle Baun fed the puck to Dustin Johner whose slapshot ripped into the Storm net at 17:32.
The Belfast first period comeback was complete at 19:44 when Darcy Murphy struck on the powerplay, assisted by David Rutherford and Josh Roach.
Murphy Completes Hat-Trick In Middle Period
Evan Richardson’s equaliser, his second of the game, came early in the middle period, assisted by Mike Hammond and Felix-Antoine Poulin.
Darcy Murphy, just as he did in the first period, gave the visitors the lead at 30:22 when he tucked away Kendall McFaull’s rebound.
Murphy completed his hat-trick at 34:22, extending the Giants lead to two goals with a cool finish following a perfect setup from Josh Roach.
Giants Dig Deep In Third To Take Victory
Ciaran Long brought the Storm to within one goal of the Giants with a shorthanded effort at 41:43.
After the Referees awarded Hunter Bishop a 5 + Game Misconduct, Tyler Beskorowany and the Giants stood tall to kill off a five minute penalty with eleven minutes remaining.
Darcy Murphy rounded off an impressive performance with his fourth goal of the game with an empty net finish, short handed, at 59:32, as the Giants killed off a late Manchester penalty.
Manchester Storm 4-6 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Giants Man of the Match
#15 Darcy Murphy (4 Goals + 1 Assist)
Next up is the final weekend before Christmas – a home ‘double header’ against the Manchester Storm on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd December at The SSE Arena, both games face-off 7pm.
Tickets are now on sale online from ticketmaster.ie as well as from the Arena Box Office, in person or by calling (028) 9073 9074.