A little less than 10 minutes into overtime, Jordan Smotherman broke the Flames hearts when he scored the Cup Championship decider and helped the Belfast Giants lift the trophy on the back of a 2-1 win.
A fast-paced opening period saw the teams trade powerplay chances, the Giants’ turn carrying into the 2nd, but the exchange of opportunities didn’t connect for any goals before the set timed out.
However, early in the middle frame, and with just 11 ticks left on the manpower advantage, Belfast struck first when Patrick Dwyer snapped home their starter. Most of the period burned away before the Flames finally brought it level when their powerplay kicked in and Jamie Crooks one timed a Brett Ferguson feed to finish 40 minutes tied at a goal each.
An end of period penalty to Erik Lindhagen had the reigning Cup champions back on the powerplay to start the 3rd. Flames penalty killing held firm to open the session then repeated a few minutes after that to keep it square down the stretch and full overtime was required when regulation ended with an even split of a couple of goals before the Giants secured the Silver in the 4th.
“We have a group of guys who are absolutely devastated to be so close, yet fall just short,” admitted Head Coach Paul Dixon.
“We gave everything we had, and we had our chances to be the winner but it just wasn’t to be. It's difficult for all of us to process the emotion that comes with that.”
“There is no need for anyone here to hang their heads, and hopefully all of us can remember all the success we had to get this far and not let one goal in overtime take away from what has been a great achievement for this club.”
“We are so grateful for such a massive turnout of our fans for a game that wasn’t in our building. We have such great support and win or lose that is something that is never forgotten by this group.”
“We will take a couple of days to get over the outcome and then get back to looking at league play and going for a run into the playoffs.”