Elite League: Belfast Giants 4-1 Coventry Blaze

The Belfast Giants gained speedy revenge over the Coventry Blaze
The Belfast Giants gained speedy revenge over the Coventry Blaze

The Belfast Giants secured immediate revenge for Friday's 2-1 defeat by Coventry Blaze as they ran out clear winners in Saturday night's rematch.

Robin Bergman gave the Blaze an early lead at the SSE Arena, but Belfast led 2-1 after the first period after goals by Jeff Mason and Jim Vandermeer.

Scores in the middle period from Michael Forney and Blair Riley ensured a 4-1 success for the Giants.

The two points lift Belfast up to third in the Elite League standings.

Belfast Giants player-coach Derrick Walser enters the arena
Belfast Giants player-coach Derrick Walser enters the arena

Smarting from their defeat 24 hours earlier, the Belfast Giants started brightly with Riley extending Coventry Blaze keeper Brian Stewart.

But it was the visitors who took the lead in the seventh minute of the contest with Bergman, who had also opened the scoring the night before, firing home from close-range for his sixth goal of the season.

The Giants equalised with two minutes to go in the first period with a rare goal from Mason who blasted in from the blue line.

And within 27 seconds, the home fans were on their feet again as another defenceman scored, Vandermeer smashing the puck in after Matt Towe's shot had been deflected into the air by netminder Stewart.

Coventry goalkeeper Brian Stewart tries to keep out Michael Forney of the Belfast Giants
Coventry goalkeeper Brian Stewart tries to keep out Michael Forney of the Belfast Giants

The second period saw the Giants extend their lead inside a minute as Forney scored from a penalty shot.

The hosts added a fourth seven minutes later following a swift exchange of passes between Derrick Walser, Chris Higgins and scorer Riley.

Tempers then flared on the ice in a mass brawl that saw Riley and Higgins of the Giants and Blaze's Jim Jorgenson and Kevin Noble all despatched to the sin bin to cool off.

There was no scoring in the final period, but plenty of blows were traded as first Matt Nickerson and Garrett Klotz, then Colin Shields and David Clements were all sent to the bin for fighting.

Saturday's Elite League results
Belfast Giants4-1Coventry Blaze
Braehead Clan0-3Dundee Stars
Cardiff Devils5-2Edinburgh Capitals
Sheffield Steelers4-1Fife Flyers
Chris Higgins celebrates after Blair Riley's goal for the Belfast Giants
Chris Higgins celebrates after Blair Riley's goal for the Belfast Giants
Coventry's Kevin Noble trades blows with Chris Higgins of the Belfast Giants
Coventry's Kevin Noble trades blows with Chris Higgins of the Belfast Giants
Michael Forney celebrates after scoring a penalty shot for Belfast against Coventry
Michael Forney celebrates after scoring a penalty shot for Belfast against Coventry

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