Elite League: Cardiff Devils 6-2 Belfast Giants
Belfast Giants were hammered 6-2 by leaders and defending champions Cardiff Devils who moved a step closer to retaining their Elite League title.
Matt Towe cancelled out Sean Bentivoglio's opening goal but the Devils' Justin Faryna, Bentivoglio and Patrick Asselin quickly made it 4-1.
Spiro Goulakos replied but final-period goals from Joey Haddad and Matt Pope saw Devils home at Ice Arena Wales.
The Giants will face Cardiff away again in the Challenge Cup final next Sunday.
After the Giants started Sunday's game minus injured Stephen Murphy, Mark Garside, Jim Vandermeer, David Rutherford and Darcy Murphy, Bentivoglio put Cardiff ahead after only 28 seconds before Towe levelled within two minutes.
However quickfire goals from Faryna and Bentivoglio put Cardiff 3-1 up early in the second period before Asselin increased their advantage in the 32nd minute.
Goulakos gave the Giants a glimmer of hope as he replied on 35:56 but Haddad restored Cardiff's three-goal lead midway through the final period before Pope's late empty-netter.
Any slim hopes that the Giants had of catching Cardiff in the title race were ended by last weekend's defeats by Edinburgh and Milton Keynes although Adam Keefe's side did regroup to defeat Sheffield 2-1 on Saturday night.
Belfast will be at home to Milton Keynes on Saturday before Sunday's Challenge Cup decider in Cardiff while Devils host Manchester Storm on Friday.