Double despair as Devils defeat the Belfast Giants

A crowd of 7,346 fans saw Cardiff Devils race into a four-goal lead before beating Belfast Giants by three at the SSE Arena last Saturday.
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With the two previous meetings this season having been both won by the road team, it didn’t come as much surprise when the Devils went ahead, 3.26 had been played when Cole Sanford’s wrist shot beat Tyler Beskorowany over the shoulder for a powerplay goal at 3.25.

A little over seven minutes later, namesake Ully deflected a perfect Evan Mosey pass behind Beskorowany to give the Devils a two-goal advantage.

Mosey then deflected Sanford’s feed past Beskorowany 72 seconds into period two, before Tyler Busch made it 4-0 when he was left all alone in front.

Belfast Giants’ David Goodwin with Cardiff Devils’ Joey Martin during Sunday’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.   Photo by William Cherry/PresseyeBelfast Giants’ David Goodwin with Cardiff Devils’ Joey Martin during Sunday’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.   Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Belfast Giants’ David Goodwin with Cardiff Devils’ Joey Martin during Sunday’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

That prompted Adam Keefe to call his timeout, visibly angry with his team, and opt for Jackson Whistle to take over netminding duties.

Whatever Keefe said appeared to work as Oliver Cooper scored just 2.54 later to make it 1-4, but Trevor Cox and Ben Lake traded goals before the period was put to put the Devils 5-2 ahead after 40 minutes.

Josh Roach pulled the game back to 3-5 with just under 13 minutes to go, but Ully’s second of the game with 1.49 left gave the Devils a 6-3 win.

The Devils completed a four-point weekend against Belfast Giants with a 4-3 win at the SSE Arena on Sunday.

Belfast Giants’ Ara Nazarian celebrates scoring against the Cardiff Devils during Sunday’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.   Photo by William Cherry/PresseyeBelfast Giants’ Ara Nazarian celebrates scoring against the Cardiff Devils during Sunday’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.   Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Belfast Giants’ Ara Nazarian celebrates scoring against the Cardiff Devils during Sunday’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

The Giants started period one better than they had the night before, and were up inside ten minutes.

With Jamie Arniel sitting a double-minor for a highstick, Daniel Tedesco’s shot was deflected past Ben Bowns by Oliver Cooper to open the scoring at 9.29.

On the same penalty, an excellent Trevor Cox wrist shot beat Whistle to tie the game shorthanded under two minutes later.

Belfast killed off a Henrik Eriksson penalty for 1.58 of period two after it carried over from the first, but found themselves behind to Sanford firing home the rebound from a Joey Martin shot 3.08 into the middle period.

Belfast Giants’ Oliver Cooper with Cardiff Devils’ Cole Sanford during Sunday’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.   Photo by William Cherry/PresseyeBelfast Giants’ Oliver Cooper with Cardiff Devils’ Cole Sanford during Sunday’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.   Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Belfast Giants’ Oliver Cooper with Cardiff Devils’ Cole Sanford during Sunday’s EIHL game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

The game changed on a major penalty in period two. Ryan Barrow was ejected for a boarding call that put the Giants onto a five-minute advantage that they didn’t miss.

Tedesco finished a nice passing play to make it two each at 31.36, and shortly before the end of the penalty Ara Nazarian put the Giants back into the lead.

Ully levelled for the Devils 3.13 into period three, before Sanford scored his second of the night, and third of the weekend, to put the Devils back into the lead with with 10.28 to play.

Whistle was pulled with 2.21 to go but to no avail, and the Devils headed home to Wales after taking the maximum points from the weekend.

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