Belfast Giants 5 - 4 Cardiff Devils
Faceoff: 19:00 - 01/03/13
Despite being behind no fewer than four times in the game, Giants dug deep and picked up the win with Robby Sandrock’s 52nd minute strike to keep the pressure on league leaders Nottingham.
Giants remain two points behind Panthers, having played a game more but are on a good league run, with this being their fifth straight win. For Devils it remains a battle with Coventry for fourth place with this their fifth road loss on the bounce.
The visitors settled well and took the lead for the first time when Chris Blight netted at 5.23 but on the powerplay Giants pulled level at 9.34 with a shot by Jeff Mason. Devils were however the better side in the opening period and deservedly went ahead again at 16.57 when young Luke Ferrara scored on his Devils debut.
Only 54 seconds into period two and Giants tied the game once more with a counter from Andrew Fournier. Devils Tyson Marsh was clearly unhappy at this goal and was ejected for abuse by ref. Neil Wilson but back came the Welsh side and at 22.51 skipper Stuart Macrae skated in to fire his side 3-2 to the good. Unfortunately for Devils and for a third time it was a tied game with Darryl Lloyd on target at 27.23 for Giants; the score staying that way until the end of the session.
An early powerplay opportunity for the visitors in the third period and for a fourth time the go-ahead goal with Jesse Gimblett beating Stephen Murphy in the home cage but determined Giants refused to buckle and at 47.09 it was 4-4 thanks to a strike by Kevin Saurette.
Spurred on by their continued comebacks Giants then struck the front themselves for the first time when Sandrock fired in at 51.19. Devils were unable to recover the way Giants had done earlier in the game and this goal proved to be decisive, giving Doug Christiansen’s side both points in their efforts to chase down Nottingham.