Elite League: Belfast Giants 8-5 Dundee Stars

Sebastien Sylvestre watches his shot hit the back of the Dundee net in Sunday's league game
Sebastien Sylvestre watches his shot hit the back of the Dundee net in Sunday's league game

Belfast Giants ended their regular Elite League season with victory over Dundee Stars at the SSE Arena.

The hosts moved 4-0 ahead with Blair Riley, Sebastien Sylvestre (2) and Darcy Murphy on target.

Further goals from the Giants came from Spiro Goulakos and Jonathan Ferland before Sylvestre completed his treble.

Belfast finished fifth in the standings and host fourth-placed Nottingham Panthers on Friday night in the first leg of the play-offs quarter-finals.

The game saw a bright start from the Giants with Goulakos and Murphy both putting in early efforts on goal.

Dundee, sitting in 10th and with no play-off interest, peppered a couple of early long-range shots at Andrew Dickson, the netminder from Ballymoney making a rare start in goal for the Giants.

Riley opened the scoring, pushing in a rebound after Murphy's shot was only parried by Craig Holland in the Stars goal.

The Giants then hit the Stars with a three-goal salvo in less than three minutes towards the end of the period.

Blair Riley celebrates scoring for the Giants at they put eight past Dundee at the SSE Arena
Blair Riley celebrates scoring for the Giants at they put eight past Dundee at the SSE Arena

Sylvestre had a tidy finish at the back post for 2-0 and under 60 seconds later Murphy tipped a Kevin Raine shot past the unfortunate Holland.

The puck was in the net once more before the first interval when Sylvestre notched up another goal, his 40th in all competitions this season and the most by any Giants player for six seasons.

Dickson's hopes of a shutout ended early in the second period as Johan Andersson broke away and fired past the Giants' keeper for 4-1.

The Giants responded with three seconds of the period remaining as Goulakos scored on the power play.

Dundee opened the final period of play with a second goal through Lukas Lindvald Nielson but the Giants responded once more -, Ferland with another power play goal for the home side.

Connolly got among the goalscorers when he stole in for the Giants' seventh and the free-flowing game continued to produce goals as Jordan Cownie got another for the visitors in the 55th minute.

Sylvestre responded within 14 seconds of the restart, completing his hat-trick for 8-3. Johan Anderrson and Cody Carlson completed the scoring for the evening with two late consolation goals for the Stars, as they ended their season fighting to the last.

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