A BIG netminding display by Tyler Beskorowany helped the Belfast Giants to a 4-2 win over Coventry Blaze at the Skydome Arena.
Despite out-shooting their opponents 34-32 over the course of the game on Sunday, Blaze struggled to find a way past the Giants’ 6ft 4ins Canadian keeper.
Blaze head coach Danny Stewart said: “I thought we played some good hockey.
“We created enough chances, we competed well, for the most part we defended well.
“Competing-wise, I can’t fault these guys. We’ve just got to start burying the puck.”
Blaze were without British forward Ross Venus, who is expected to miss six to eight weeks after sustaining an injury against the Nottingham Panthers on Saturday night, while the Giants line-up was missing GB all-time leading scorer Colin Shields and former NHL defenceman Jim Vandermeer.
Blaze took an early lead when Ben Lake notched his sixth goal of the season at 3.22 but the Giants were soon back on level terms with Darcy Murphy (5.27) following up his hat-trick the previous night against Milton Keynes with their opening goal of the night.
The first period ended with the Giants’ Jonathan Ferland and Coventry’s Lake both serving five-minute penalties for fighting.
Belfast took the lead in the second period through a goal from Patrick Dwyer (26.53) but a sustained period of pressure from the Blaze, forcing Beskorowany to pull off a number of good saves, finally ended with a deserved equaliser.
Nicolai Bryhnisveen (34.40) put the Blaze back on level terms, rifling home a slapshot on a powerplay following a pass from Blaze man-of-the-match Lake.
However, the scores stayed level for less than a minute-and-a-half with the Giants scoring twice in a 71-second spell through Blair Riley (36.00) and Kyle Baun (37.11).
In the final period, the Blaze called a timeout and pulled netminder Miroslav Kopriva as they searched for a way back into the game but the Giants held firm, with Beskorowany named their man of the match.