Challenge Cup: Glasgow Clan beat Belfast Giants 2-1 in semi-final first leg

Clan v Giants
The Clan scored late in the first period and early in the second to take control of the game at Braehead Arena

The Belfast Giants will have to overturn a one-goal deficit in the second leg of their Challenge Cup semi-final if they are to retain the trophy following a 2-1 defeat by Glasgow Clan.

Matt Beca and Gerard Hanson put the hosts two ahead before Kyle Baun pulled a goal back late in the second period.

Guildford Flames lead Nottingham Panthers 5-2 in the other semi-final.

The Giants will welcome Glasgow to the SSE Arena for the second leg on 14 February.

Tyler Beskorowany started in the Giants net with the Belfast side missing Hunter Bishop, Guillaume Gelinas, Matt Towe and Andrew Dickson.

After an even opening period of play, it was the home side who would break the deadlock when Beca, assisted by Brendan Connolly and Scott Pitt, bundled the puck home at 19:56 to take a one goal advantage into the first intermission.

Five minutes into the second period the Clan extended their lead through Hanson, who was on hand to turn the puck into the Belfast net, assisted by Zach Sullivan.

At 32:30, Jonathan Ferland dropped the gloves with Glasgow's Michal Gutwald - as the Clan player picked up an additional two minute instigator penalty to send the Giants on the powerplay.

The Giants rallied and pulled one back through Baun's powerplay strike at 33:54, assisted by Curtis Leonard.

The visitors piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser during the final period but could not find a way past Joel Rumpel in the Clan goal.

The Glasgow netminder turned away 25 shots to help his side take a one goal advantage into the second leg in Belfast, where the Clan will hope to eliminate the side that lifted the trophy last March following a 6-3 win over the Cardiff Devils.

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