Elite League: Giants claim overtime win over Steelers

Sheffield's John Armstrong competes against Blair Riley of the Belfast Giants
The second-placed Giants defeated the Steelers who are third in the Elite League

The Belfast Giants clinched an overtime win over the Sheffield Steelers in the first of back-to-back Elite League meetings on Saturday night.

The match at the SSE Arena in Belfast was goalless until Colton Fretter netted for the visitors at 10:26 in the final period.

The lead was short-lived, though, as Colin Shields got the Giants level within 22 seconds.

Chris Higgins scored the overtime winner for the second-placed Giants.

The teams face each other in another league match in Belfast on Sunday, 8 January (16:00 GMT).

Adam Keefe helped the Belfast Giants to an Elite League win over the Sheffield Steelers
Adam Keefe helped the Belfast Giants to an Elite League win over the Sheffield Steelers

The hosts edged the opening period in possession and shots, but Ervins Mustukovs in the Sheffield goal kept the Giants at bay.

In the second period home netminder Jackson Whistle and the Giants defence killed off three Steelers powerplays.

Mustukovs was again the difference early in the final period as he produced a string of impressive saves to deny the Giants in two early powerplay opportunities.

After just over 50 minutes without a goal, the game sprung to life with two inside 22 seconds.

Fretter, assisted by John Armstrong and Mathieu Roy, netted from close range and then Shields squeezed the puck into the Steelers' net, assisted by James Desmarais and Steve Saviano.

In overtime, the Giants broke into the Sheffield zone with Blair Riley dishing the puck to Higgins who, one-on-one with the goalie, pulled a move and netted to secure the win for the hosts at 60:31.

Netminder Jackson Whistle's performance earned him the Belfast Giants' man of the match award
Netminder Jackson Whistle's performance earned him the Belfast Giants' man of the match award

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