The Stena Line Belfast Giants lost out to a late goal in the Playoff Final as the Cardiff Devils won the 2019 title. Devils netminder Ben Bowns posted a player of the game display and the Giants can be proud of a solid showing in the big game.
Kevin Raine netted an equaliser at 49:56 after Mike Hedden gave the Devils a first period lead, only for Gleason Fournier to score the winner at 52:27. It was a sad end to one of the Giants most successful seasons in history after claiming the Erhardt Conference, Challenge Cup and Elite League titles.
Tyler Beskorowany started in the Belfast net with the Giants missing Andrew Dickson, David Rutherford and Guillaume Gelinas.
Devils Take First Period Lead
The Giants edged the better of the play in the opening period and also impressively killed off a two minute 5-on-3 powerplay.
Drew Schiestel’s hit on Darcy Murphy was a flashpoint early in the game, with the Giants forward missing for the second and third periods following the incident.
However it was the Devils who struck first. Cardiff transitioned quickly, leaving Mike Hedden one-on-one with Beskorowany and the Devils forward fired low into the Belfast net at 16:32.
Giants Control Second Period
The Giants dominated proceedings in the middle period. Cardiff’s Bowns pulled off a string of impressive saves to keep the Devils ahead moving into the final period.
Cardiff Battle To Secure Win
The Belfast equaliser came at 49:56 when Kevin Raine’s cool finish gave the Giants hope with a deserved goal.
However it was late heartbreak for the Giants when Gleason Fournier, assisted by Matt Pope, finished well at 52:27 to win the Playoff title for the Devils.
Stena Line Belfast Giants 1-2 Cardiff Devils
Giants Player of the Game
#22 Kevin Raine (1 Goal)
Next up for the Giants is the 2019/20 season – the 20th in Belfast’s history. The Giants will have the opportunity to defend the Erhardt Conference, Challenge Cup and Elite League titles as well as competing in the Champions Hockey League for the first time ever.