Belfast Giants beat Braehead Clan 4-1 in Challenge Cup game

Belfast Giants 4-1 Braehead Clan

Three late goals helped the Belfast Giants beat Braehead Clan 4-1 to move top of their Challenge Cup group.

Thomas Nesbitt gave Clan the lead in the first period but James Desmarais levelled in the second period with his third goal in two games for Belfast.

Giants player-coach Derrick Walser fired the hosts into the lead with four minutes remaining and Mitch Ganzak then scored with one minute left.

Colin Shields was credited with a goal after being cynically tripped.

The game began with all five teams in their Challenge Cup group on four points at the start of the evening.

The Giants should have taken the lead midway through the first period but Mike Forney was unable to get onto Adam Keefe's pass right across the goal.

It was the visitors who took the initiative, as Nesbitt fired past Stephen Murphy with three minutes of the period remaining.

The second period was disrupted by several penalties but with neither side was able to capitalise.

However, Desmarais levelled things up on the night with three minutes to go when he bore down on Chris Holt's goal and opted to blast the puck early past the Clan netminder.

The night's drama all came in the third period as the Giants held out for four minutes, with netminder Stephen Murphy outstanding, while player-coach Derrick Wallser served a '2+2'.

Wallser nudged his side ahead, then Ganzak added a third into an empty net after the Clan pulled keeper Holt and there was time for a fourth as Shields was awarded a goal after being brought down as he was about to score.