An unanswered 1st period goal and 2 more in the 2nd, paved the path for a Belfast Giants 3-1 win on Spectrum ice.
Blair Riley buried a 2 on 1 feed from in close to get the Giants started before the 1st period was halfway through, and the visitors held the lead through the remainder of the frame.
In the 29th minute, they doubled their advantage when Darcy Murphy poked a loose puck across the line. They made it a 3 goal spread less than a minute later when video review confirmed their 3rd of the contest; a ricochet off the foot of Francis Beauvillier that left the home team in a 3 goal hole to start the last set.
Ian Watters was able to get one on the board for Surrey’s favourites inside the final 9 minutes. Despite a powerplay 2+ minutes from close, and an empty net to hold a 6 on 4 manpower advantage, they could find no further solutions to Giants netminder Tyler Beskorowany before time expired on the 2 goal defeat.
“Belfast is a good hockey team, but we didn’t execute for a full 60 minutes,” admitted Paul Dixon.
“Against teams like this, where there is so much talent and depth, we have to be able to put in our best for the length of the game to have any chance.”
“I thought we got off to a pretty good start, but it really went the wrong way in the 2nd. Whether our last home game had us feeling a bit tentative once Belfast got up on us, I don’t know, but we simply didn’t play at the level we needed to for long enough tonight.”
“We will pick ourselves up and get ready to get back at it in the important Cup Quarter final game at Sheffield on Wednesday.”