Belfast Giants Cruise into Semi Finals

(PHOTO: William Cherry/Press Eye)

The first Challenge Cup Quarter Final has been completed as Belfast Giants faced Coventry Blaze at the SSE Arena.

The Blaze had the lead going into the second leg with a 3-2 win in their pockets from December.

They failed to capitalise on this however after suffering a 5-1 drumming from the Giants on home ice.

JJ Piccinich continued his sublime run of form scoring one and assisting another in the first period.

His goal came just five minutes into the first with the assist a little under five minutes later.

This put Belfast into the lead on aggregate and from here it was plain skating for the Irish side.

David Goodwin and Scott Conway, the current top scorer and assister respectively also bagged a goal apiece.

Netminder Tyler Beskorowany also deserves a shout for his efforts only being denied a shutout by a late consolation score.

Ultimately the Giants were the better side, clinical in attack and efficient in defence.

The Aftermath

Belfast Giants’ Head Coach Adam Keefe spoke about his team’s performance after the game, saying: “I think we were a little bit lose and Coventry came out pretty hard in that first period, Besko (Beskorowany) did his job stood tall and gave us a chance to come back we kind of got one against the grain there and I thought that allowed us to settle down”.

Keefe said how his side have looked to perform well in this Cup, saying: “Well we have put an onus on this Challenge Cup, it’s a trophy we want to win, we don’t take it very lightly”.

On a less optimistic tone, Coventry’s Head Coach Danny Stewart spoke about how he felt following the loss: “It’s a bit frustrating, we came out the first seven to ten minutes and we created a lot—but we just couldn’t find the back of the net and we made two mistakes off the puck and we let them in behind us and they punished us”.

With this victory Belfast have secured their place in the semi finals of the competition.

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