Manchester Storm 2-1 Stena Line Belfast Giants (Overtime)
Elite Ice Hockey League.
Sunday 15th September. Planet Ice, Manchester.
The Stena Line Belfast Giants lost out 2-1 in overtime on Sunday to the Manchester Storm in a hard fought match. Jared Aulin netted 54 seconds into overtime to secure both points for the hosts with the Giants picking up one point on the road.
Shane Owen’s 28 saves kept the visitors in the game after Curtis Hamilton’s smart finish in the opening period had given the Giants a lead in Manchester. However goals from Layne Ulmer and Jared Aulin kept up the Storm’s unbeaten run in the league.
Shane Owen started in the Belfast net with the Giants missing the injured Jesse Forsberg, Liam Reddox and Patrick Mullen. Sunday’s defeat following Saturday’s impressive showing in the Challenge Cup against Glasgow – with the Giants returning to home action next weekend for back-to-back games.
The Giants got their league title defence off to the best possible start – dominating large parts of the opening period in Manchester. At 10:10, they got their breakthrough thanks to Curtis Hamilton who cooly slotted home on a 2-on-1, assisted by Liam Morgan and Ben Lake.
But following four successful penalty kills, the Storm finally found their way past the Giants defence at 34:32. Layne Ulmer found the net for the home side, assisted by Jared Aulin and Adam Hughesman.
25 seconds later and Jean Dupuy dropped the gloves with Manchester’s Mathieu Gagnon right in front of the Belfast bench.
The third period was a more tense affair with both sides forced into killing penalties. Neither sides gave up any obvious scoring opportunities and so the first league game of the season went to overtime.
Jean Dupuy raced clear in overtime, only to be cruelly denied by the post before the Storm skated the puck to the other end of the ice and Jared Aulin took advantage of the loose puck to give the home side the win.
Final Score: Manchester Storm 2-1 Stena Line Belfast Giants (Overtime)
The Player of the Game was#10 Curtis Leonard.
The Giants return to action next weekend with back-to-back home games. Saturday night sees the Dundee Stars visit Belfast in the Challenge Cup, with the face-off at 7pm, before a clash with the Nottingham Panthers on Sunday, face-off 4pm, in Elite League action.
Tickets are now available online now through: ticketmaster.ie