AN OVERTIME goal from David Rutherford denied Coventry Blaze a first EIHL win of the season as the Skydome outfit lost 3-2 to Belfast.
Despite losing, Danny Stewart’s men still skated away from the Skydome with a point after taking the game to overtime.
The Giants came close to taking the lead on two occasions as both Garside and Benedict slammed two shots into the crossbar, much to the relief of goaltender Brian Stewart.
Stewart’s run of form was finally broken after 30 minutes as a poor cross pass from Matt Selby was intercepted and scored by David Rutherford – which went in from underneath the crossbar.
Blaze immediately responded though as Josh Godfrey hit the back of the net from the blue line with a superb one timer at 33.28 during a powerplay.
Belfast scored a powerplay goal of their own shortly before the conclusion of the second period as Mike Forney slotted a shot past Stewart.
Jordan Pietrus teamed up with German favourite Bjorn Bombis six minutes into the third period to bring the Blaze level for the second time.
Two world-class saves from Brian Stewart with seconds remaining on the clock forced the game to overtime – which Belfast took full advantage of with a two-on-one goal after 50 seconds.
Blaze head coach Danny Stewart said: “We got stuck into the game and battled hard.
“There’s so much pressure to do well early in the season and sometimes you can get into the habit of lowering your head when the opposition team scores first.
“It’s very easy to fall back on your heels and let the nervousness kick in, however the guys continued playing and we kept shooting pucks on net which was important.
“One thing we could’ve done better was to get a few more bodies around Murphy, he’s not the biggest netminder in the league but we can work on that – it was good to get a point.”
Skipper Jordan Pietrus added: “It’s unfortunate we were caught in a two on one situation during overtime but to get a point is a positive.
“Our goal is to improve every night and learn from our mistakes – picking up a point is good as we need to do that every night if we’re to challenge for a league championships, which is our aim.”