Elite League: Belfast Giants 5-1 Sheffield Steelers

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Highlights: Giants gain Steelers revenge

Belfast Giants gained revenge for Friday's defeat by the Sheffield Steelers with an impressive Elite League victory at the SSE Arena.

The hosts were 3-0 ahead after a feisty first period thanks to goals from Darcy Murphy, David Rutherford and Jonathan Ferland.

Rutherford completed his double before Ben O'Connor scored for the Steelers, who won 3-2 just 24 hours earlier.

Colin Shields sealed a win which moves Belfast back into second place.

Both teams were depleted of prominent players with the fiery contest on Friday night leading to repercussions for both sides.

Steelers' Zack Fitzgerald was out, suspended for the first of four games for a check to the head of Spiro Goulakos.

Goulakos was also suspended for the game for the same offence, although video evidence had proven inconclusive, meaning the Department of Player Safety did not feel it could extend the suspension beyond the automatic match ban for the offence.

Giants team-mate Sebastian Sylvestre was serving the first of a two-game ban for abuse of an official.

A little Giants fan joins the celebrations after David Rutherford scores against the Steelers on Saturday night
A little Giants fan joins the celebrations after David Rutherford scores against the Steelers

Hostilities resumed almost immediately on Saturday night, as Sheffield's Davey Philips and the Giants' Brendan Connelly clashed in the opening moments and both served two minute penalties for roughing.

Another tussle between Rutherford and Steelers' Andreas Jamtin saw the latter thrown out of the match for a game misconduct after just six minutes - and that also led to a '2+5' minute penalty against the visitors.

The Giants took advantage of the extra man on the ice, scoring through Murphy at the midway point of the opening period and seconds later Rutherford tipped in a Cole Jarrett shot for 2-0.

More Sheffield ill-discipline followed, with a check from behind by Miika Franssila creating a five-on-three situation which the Giants exploited for 3-0 through Ferland, who fired the puck high into the net past Ervins Mustukovs in the Sheffield goal.

The Giants continued to dominate the game and it was 4-0 when Rutherford scored midway through the second period.

Giants forward David Rutherford is closed down by Steelers opponent Scott Aarssen at the SSE Arena
Giants forward David Rutherford is closed down by Steelers opponent Scott Aarssen at the SSE Arena

The goal was created by fellow forward Blair Riley, who held off two Steelers to sweep a pass across the crease to the far post and Rutherford fired home.

O'Connor got Sheffield on the scoresheet with 13 minutes of the contest left, notching up his goal on a power play.

But that proved to be just a consolation for the visitors as the Giants scored a fifth goal with a minute to go.

Shields, who reached 600 points in his career for Belfast, fired home the loose puck.

The Giants are next in action on Tuesday in the second leg of their Challenge Cup quarter-final against the Fife Flyers

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