Elite League: Belfast Giants secure dramatic comeback win over Clan

Darcy Murphy
Darcy Murphy celebrates scoring against the Glasgow Clan

Elite League leaders Belfast Giants came from three goals down to beat Glasgow Clan 5-4 in Saturday night's game at the SSE Arena.

Goals from Craig Peacock, Gerard Hanson and Rasmus Bjerrum had Clan 3-0 ahead but David Rutherford and Dustin Johner grabbed two apiece to put Giants ahead.

Darcy Murphy increased the lead before Michal Gutwald pulled one back.

Belfast increase their lead over Cardiff to three points, having played two more games than the Devils.

Adam Keefe's side are next in action against Dundee Stars at the SSE Arena on Sunday evening.

Two former Belfast players combined to put the visitors ahead, Brendan Connolly's slick pass providing an opportunity for Peacock to shoot past Tyler Beskorowany into the Giants' goal.

Belfast thought they had equalised through Curtis Leonard right at the end of the first period - but the officials deemed his shot to have hit the net just after time had elapsed.

Within a minute of the restart Hanson stunned the home crowd by putting the Clan 2-0 up.

The home side then appeared to have a mountain to climb as Bjerrum tipped the puck past Beskorowany at the midpoint in the contest for 3-0 to Glasgow.

Belfast's Jim Vandermeer and the Clan's Tyron Wilson were sent to sit for five minute major penalties after fighting as the Giants looked for a spark to ignite their response.

David Rutherford was on target twice for the Giants
David Rutherford was on target twice for the Giants

It came courtesy of Patrick Dwyer, as the former NHL man weaved his way through the Clan and played in David Rutherford to score on the power play and get Belfast on the scoreboard.

The Glasgow lead was then reduced to just one goal when Johner deflected in Josh Roach's shot from the point with just 27 seconds to go in the middle period.

Johner came agonisingly close to an equaliser early in the final period but, with the goal gaping, his shot went just wide of the target.

Rutherford went one better with the goal of the night, skating around the back of the net before reverse stick shot on Joel Rumpel's nearside, the puck flying in over the Glasgow goalkeeper's shoulder to restore parity at 3-3.

A little over thirty seconds later, the Giants took the lead as Johner picked up a loose puck and sent a wrist shot flying in past Rumpel.

Murphy's goal on the power play, with under four minutes remaining, appeared to have sealed victory but a reply from Gutwald, with just 34 seconds left, meant the Giants still had to see out the game to secure the 5-4 win and two vital points in the title race.

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