Elite League play-offs: Belfast Giants beat Dundee Stars 15-8 to secure third

David Rutherford helped himself to a treble in the third place play-off
David Rutherford helped himself to a treble in the third place play-off

David Rutherford scored a hat-trick as the Belfast Giants beat Dundee Stars 15-8 in Nottingham on Sunday to finish third in the Elite League play-offs.

The Giants trailed four times in the early stages but were never headed after levelling at 5-5 and went on to win the free-scoring match comfortably.

Ryan Martinelli, Colin Shields and Mike Forney grabbed two goals apiece for Belfast in the bronze medal game.

The Giants had lost 2-0 to Sheffield Steelers in Saturday's semi-final.

The Stars went down 4-2 to Elite League champions Cardiff Devils in their last four encounter at the National Ice Centre.

Both sides set out to entertain in what was essentially a dead rubber on Sunday and the teams were level at 4-4 after the first period.

The Giants, who finished second in the league standings, pulled away to lead 9-6 by the end of the second period, then further extended their advantage.

The two teams sent out their back-up netminders - Ballymoney's Andrew Dickson for the Giants and Craig Holland for the Stars.

The Giants' other scorers were Blair Riley, Matt Towe, Chris Higgins, Michael Quesnele, Jim Vandermeer and Adam Keefe.

Justin Faryna (2), Vinny Scarsella, Mikael Lidhammar, Craig Moore, Kevin Bruijsten, Matt White and Joey Sides were on target for Dundee.

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