In the opener of a Friday, Saturday set in Belfast, a pair of unanswered Giants goals in each of the 1st and 2nd periods set them to a 4-goal lead well before the game was halfway through on their way to a 6-2 win over the visiting Flames.
David Goodwin started their count at 7:13 and Lewis Hook added the 2nd a little over 4 minutes from break.
Not long after re-start Mark Garside made it a 3-0 lead and Ben Lake in the 25th minute chased starter Kevin Lindskoug in favour of newcomer Liam Hughes and the clubs went the rest of the frame with no further scoring.
Seconds into the 3rd, a double minor penalty to Alex Yuill put Giants on a long powerplay and they scored inside the first couple minutes with the extra skater through Slater Doggett. A Flames powerplay tallied their first of the contest when Jake Bolton converted at 44:11. Bolton scored again in the 55th minute, but 64 seconds later Scott Conway closed out the evening’s offence.
“They are not sitting at the top of the table by accident. They are just such a good hockey team that we have to play to hold them down long enough for us to get a lead and try to play from there,” said Paul Dixon.
“We can’t play them down by a handful of goals fairly early on. We simply are not going to win a track meet offensive race with them.”
“We have another chance tomorrow night, and we have to play a game where we really limit our mistakes and take advantage of the chances we can generate. It’s not like we don’t get any chances or where they just spend the whole game in our end, but we have to be smart, play a bit patient and find our spots. Including getting them at home Sunday, we have a couple more cracks at them and hopefully we are learning enough as we go to tip this very good hockey club over.”