EIHL Challenge Cup Final

EIHL Challenge Cup Final

04 Mar 2018Robert Newbolt»

Belfast Giants travelled to Ice Arena Wales for the Challenge Cup final with the Cardiff Devils.


The Belfast Giants dominated this game against league champions elect Cardiff Devils to claim their first Challenge Cup trophy for nine years.

Much of their mastery of the game came from them being able to aggressively forecheck their opponents with a 3-2 style of play (that is 3 men high and 2 defending). This negated Cardiff’s much-vaunted cycle play and were given little time on the puck when defending.

However, it was Cardiff who scored first: a pass across the crease saw BENTIVOGLIO on hand to drive the puck home, albeit off his skate – after a review the goal was given.

Despite continued Belfast pressure the score stayed that way until the second period when BENEDICT picked up the puck behind his own goal, skated the length of the ice and rifled a shot past Bowns to tie the scores.

Then, only a minute later, Goulakos was assessed a penalty and on the resulting powerplay FOURNIER scored with a long shot through a screen of players to put Cardiff back in front.

Back came Belfast and Towe skated along the half boards before centring Saviano whose pass was met by a gleeful RUTHERFORD, he wrong footed Bowns to make it a 2-2 game.

With just four minutes of the period left Belfast got the goal they deserved to lead the game as FERLAND threw the puck on net and it squeezed in past Bowns.

We expected a big response from Cardiff but it was Belfast who increased the lead after 46 minutes as a slapshot from Saviano was tipped in by TOWE to make the score 4-3.

Then with just seven minutes remaining MURPHY pounced on a Cardiff turnover to score and open up a three-goal led.

With Bowns pulled for the extra attacker after a Belfast penalty MORISSETTE reduced the lead with a goal past a much-improved Whistle in goal for Belfast.

But FERLAND restored the three goal cushion moments later when, with Bowns pulled, he scored in the empty net. 


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