BELFAST Giants suffered a 2-1 defeat away to the Sheffield Steelers last night in a rough and tumble game.
Tom Sestito made a home debut for the Steelers he will remember with a goal, an assist and a fight as the Steelers came from behind to beat the Belfast Giants at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield.
Steelers were down 1-0 to an early Belfast power-play when Craig Peacock slotted home in the 4th minute they leveled 7 minutes later after Sam Roberts took a cross checking minor Sestito pounced to equalise.
Just 19 seconds into the middle period Sestito turned from scorer to provider for Steven Goertzen to put the Steelers ahead.
It was a lead that wouldn’t be surrendered.
In a blood and thrust, top of the table encounter both teams had chances but the Steelers defence stood tall and were assisted by outstanding goaltending from John DeCaro to secure the points.
After the game Steelers head coach Ryan Finnerty said: “It was a must win night for us, we played it simple, didn’t get away from our systems and everyone saw the kind of team we can be.
“Of course Tom will get the headlines and rightly so, but other guys tonight dug deep.
“Steven Goertzen was excellent and lee Esders again showed why we rate him so highly, with Belfast pulling their goalie we had Esders out there in the final seconds, that’s because he is the best man for that job.”
The Stena Line Belfast Giants will be looking for revenge against the Steelers when they host them at the Odyssey Arena on Friday, October 26. Face off is 7.30pm.
However, before then the Giants have three away games in the Continental Cup this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the first match against Rujiters Eaters Gelen.
Before going into the game against the Steelers, the Stena Line Belfast Giants were top of the Elite League standing just 24 hours earlier with a 6-3 victory at the Odyssey Arena over the Cardiff Devils.
Despite the Devils scoring first it was the Giants who shot to a commanding 4-1 lead after 2 periods before the visitors staged a final period comeback to make things interesting.
The visitors opened the scoring with a strike from Tyson Marsh at 2.22. They then went on the powerplay, however, they gave up a shorthanded goal as Adam Keefe found the net at 3.06.
The Giants then scored two goals in as many minutes as Scott Champagne on the powerplay at 5.49 and then Daymen Rycroft at 7.19 to give the home side a 3-1 lead. The hosts added a fourth goal as Andrew Fournier was on hand to net at 16.34.
Two goals 18 seconds apart got the Devils right back into the game as first Devine Didiomete on the powerplay at 32.38 was quickly followed by a strike from Phil Hill at 32.56 to make it a one goal game at the end of the second period.
Having got back into the game the Devils gave up two goals in the first ten minutes of the third period.
With Noah Clarke scoring at 43.15 and then Keefe with his second of the game at 48.11 to restore the Giants three goal lead.
Any chance the Devils had after that of reducing the score line was minimal especially when Ben Davies missed a penalty shot at 53.12.
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