Belfast Giants and Flames traded 4 goals in the last period then went to overtime where the Giants grabbed the extra table point when they ended it with a 64th minute strike to close out a 3-2 home win over Spectrum’s men.
In a 1st period where the Northern Irish hosts had the majority of the play, Chris Carrozzi made a handful of good saves to ensure the 2nd frame began with both sides still looking for their opening goal.
The visitors were able to turn the ice a bit more in the middle set, but a 10-7 Flames shot advantage again ended in a scoreless draw with 20 minutes to play.
Flames finally cracked the scoresheet just under 5 minutes into the final frame when John Dunbar offered them a 1-0 lead, but Blair Riley pulled it level again before the period’s midway point. Ben Davies had Flames in front again at 54:19 but a late penalty put the Giants powerplay to work and Colin Shields from point blank squared it again to force an extra frame.
In the tiebreaker, Chris Higgins netted at 63:12 to secure the home team’s win.
“If I had been asked about getting a point in Belfast when the 1st period ended, I would have thought it was a great night,” admitted Paul Dixon, “but as the game went on, and with a late lead, it feels a bit more disappointing to come away with just a single.”
“We had chances to score more than we did, and even in overtime we took possession first and had some close calls that would have made it a bit better ending for us.”
“We are a little short staffed, and we played well enough to earn a point so we need to try and keep a positive focus ahead of tomorrow night, where we have a chance to get a good rest, and just wait here and try to be ready to do it again and maybe we can convert the opportunity into a win before we head home.”