Elite League: Belfast Giants seal six-point weekend with 9-2 win over MK Lightning

The Giants dominated the second and third periods in Milton Keynes

The Belfast Giants ensured that they took maximum points from a three-game weekend as they thrashed MK Lightning 9-2 on Sunday.

Player of the match Darcy Murphy scored twice and assisted another goal.

There were also doubles for Josh Roach and Jonathan Boxill as the Giants maintained pressure on league leaders Cardiff Devils.

The Giants return to action against Glasgow on Tuesday in the first leg of the Challenge Cup semi-final.

Over the weekend, the Belfast side have reduced the first placed Devils lead from eleven points to five with both sides having 20 games remaining.

The game was also notable for Giants forward Colin Shields who, on his 39th birthday, assisted to become the Elite League's all-time leading points scorer with 732.

Darcy's double give Belfast first period lead

The Giants came flying out of the traps and took a deserved early lead through Murphy who pounced on his own rebound to slot home, assisted by Dustin Johner and Jim Vandermeer at 2:08.

The Lightning hit back little over 10 minutes later on the powerplay through Georgs Golokovs, asisted by Michael Fine and Tim Wallace at 12:15.

Murphy posted his and his team's second of the game at 17:54 with a powerplay goal of his own. Jim Vandermeer offloaded the puck to Murphy whose fierce wrist shot flew into the roof of the Lightning goal.

Giants take control in middle period

The Giants started the second period in the same fashion as the first. Pat Dwyer picked up the in the Belfast zone from Chris Higgins, skated the puck down the wing and unleashed his effort into the top corner after only 18 seconds.

Roach gave the visitors a three goal advantage at 35:03 with a quick shot from the blueline after Curtis Leonard skated the puck around the net and offloaded to his defence partner.

Roach doubled his tally on the night at 39:07, again assisted by Curtis Leonard, only this time it was a slapshot from the blueline by the Giants defenceman.

Giants complete dominant road win

Giants Captain Blair Riley finished off a sweeping Giants move early in the final period, assisted by Murphy and Paul Swindlehurst, firing past Killeen at 45:13.

At 47:53, it was 7-1 - this time Boxill battled hard in front of the Lightning net to slot home.

Chris Higgins gave the visitors a seven goal advantage at 53:55 when he stick handled around the Lightning defence and slid the puck past Adam Goss in the Milton Keynes net.

The hosts pulled one back at 54:09 when Michael Fine, assisted by Ryan Lannon, skated the puck into the Giants zone and ripped a wrist shot high into the Belfast net.

Boxill grabbed his second of the game and his side's final effort of the night at 57:06, following up on Shields' rebound to fire home and round off an emphatic Giants road win.

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