The Stena Line Belfast Giants posted an impressive 5-0 win over the Coventry Blaze to get their 2018/19 Playoff campaign off to a great start in their final home game of the season. The win came in front of a sell out crowd at The SSE Arena as the newly crowned Elite League champions took to the ice for the first time since clinching the 2018/19 title with Blair Riley lifting the new trophy following the game.
A Tyler Beskrowany shutout plus goals from Darcy Murphy, Chris Higgins, Colin Shields, Jordan Smotherman and Jonathan Ferland gave the Giants an important home win.
Next up for the Giants is Sunday vs Coventry Blaze in the Quarter Final 2nd Leg, face-off 6pm. The winner will advance to the Elite League Playoff Finals weekend in Nottingham on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April
Tyler Beskorowany posted the shutout on Saturday with the Giants missing Andrew Dickson, David Rutherford and Guillaume Gelinas.
Murphy Breaks Deadlock
Darcy Murphy opened the scoring at 10:58 – firing home his 50th goal of the season, by redirecting Kevin Raine’s shot from the blue line past Matt Hackett in the Blaze goal.
Giants Double In Second Period
Jordan Smotherman doubled the hosts lead early in the middle period, assisted by Dustin Johner and Kevin Raine at 23:56.
Chris Higgins’ finish from close range on the powerplay extended the Belfast advantage to three at 30:19, assisted by Blair Riley and Darcy Murphy.
Giants End Home Season With Win
Colin Shields, playing his last home game for the Giants following the announcement of his retirement at the end of this season, fittingly netted for the hosts at 42:19, assisted by Jim Vandermeer and Darcy Murphy.
Jonathan Ferland rounded off the scoring at 49:41 with a cool finish, assisted by Curtis Leonard and Chris Higgins.
Stena Line Belfast Giants 5-0 Coventry Blaze
Giants Player of the Game
#15 Darcy Murphy (1 Goal + 2 Assists)
The Giants now travel to Coventry for the 2nd Leg on Sunday 7th April – face-off 6pm. The winner of the Quarter Final will advance to the Playoff Finals weekend in Nottingham on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April.
🚨 GIANTS WIN! 🚨
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) April 6, 2019