Belfast Day Two: Giants one win from Euro glory

(PHOTO: William Cherry/Press Eye)

RESULTS:

Arlan Kokshetau 8-2 HK Gomel

Belfast Giants 4-2 GKS Katowice

 

Belfast Giants are one game away from winning the Continental Cup as they picked up their second win of the weekend in a 4-2 success over GKS Katowice.

It was another great night for the home team as the momentum from Friday’s shutout win over HK Gomel continued, taking Adam Keefe’s men to the brink of glory.

Giants goalie Tyler Beskorowany made a key save to set the tone in the early stages of the game when he made a massive save to deny Dusan Devecka when he seemed destined to score.

But Darcy Murphy was the man to put Belfast in front when when a quick turn and shot from point beat Kevin Lindskoug in the Katowice net.

The Poles hit back almost immediately after the restart through Bartosz Fraszko to give them something to cheer about.

Giants regained the lead just after the midway point when Kendall McFaull’s shot rebounded to Murphy, who was quick to react and tuck away his and Belfast’s second.

(PHOTO: William Cherry/Press Eye)

Janne Laakkonen pulled Katowice level with seconds to go in the middle session, setting up a tense third period and the points still very firmly in the balance.

Only 15 seconds had gone in the third when Curtis Leonard fired into the roof of the net to once again restore a lead for the Giants.

The Polish side pushed in an attempt to get themselves again, but they were finally killed off when Josh Roach’s shot was redirected into the net by Dustin Johner and the celebrations began.

Now sights turn to Sunday’s showdown with Arlan Kokshetau and the twinkle of silverware that looms for one of them.

EARLIER IN THE DAY

Arlan Kokshetau set up a final day showdown with the Giants as they consigned HK Gomel to a heavy 8-2 loss to end the Belarus side’s hopes of winning the competition.

The team from Kazakhstan were four up and cruising after the first period courtesy of goals from Ivan Kiselyov, Dmitri Potaichuk, Vadim Berdnikov and Alexei Antsiferov.

Potaichuk and Anton Petrov added goals number five and six to really make the lead comfortable, but Gomel hit back on the powerplay through Anton Tochilkin.

Kokshetau restored their six goal lead with a strike from Alexander Nesterov followed by Stanislav Borovikov with 11 minutes to go.  Yevgeni Solomonov’s finish for Gomel was a mere consolation.

Gomel will play Katowice for the bronze medal in the day’s earlier game on Sunday before Kokshetau and Giants duke it out for the top prize.

SUNDAY FIXTURES:

HK Gomel vs GKS Katowice (1pm)

Arlan Kokshetau vs Belfast Giants (5pm)

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