Following the IIHL Recreational Division action on Saturday evening, the Hawks hosted the Belfast Giants in the IIHL. Faceoff was at 7:15 pm, although it was more 7:19 pm as the referee and his linesmen were running a little late. However, what followed as a thrilling game of hockey. The Giants found themselves a little ambushed as they were down by four goals after only ten minutes. Raimonds Karspinkis, Dimitrijs Fjodorovs, Steven Adams and Aigars Brencis all scored. Fjodorovs and Adams both scored on the powerplay. However, the Giants made a goalkeeper change after the second goal, bringing on Scott Bickerstaff for Andrew Dickson. Following the fourth goal the Giants were somewhat alive again. They found the back of the net on the powerplay through Mark Reynolds. Both Gareth Roberts and Arnaud Dos Santos picked up the assists. The score after the first twenty minutes was 4 – 1 Hawks. They also outshot their opponents 22 – 12.
The second period was much the same story as the Hawks scored four unanswered goals before the Giants could muster a response. First up was Viktors Serdjukovs with Tomas Burdys and Steven Balmer assisting. Next up was Brencis on the powerplay off a feed from Serdjukovs. This was before Fjodorovs and Burdys made it seven and eight for the Hawks respectively. However, the Giants did come back with Peter McCarter getting an even strength marker. Roberts and Colin Grimason both got the assists. This made the score 8 – 2 after the 2nd Period. Again the Hawks outshot the Giants, this time 24 – 8. While the Giants made another goalkeeper change bringing back on Dickson for young Bickerstaff who did himself proud.
The 3rd Period started off slightly different to the previous two. The Giants scored first and after only 30 seconds. Denis Kurelass, who replaced Martins Stradz in goal for this period for the Hawks, was beat on the first shot he faced. Gareth Roberts got the marker with assists going to Ross Bickerstaff and Mark Reynolds. However, this was not to be a comeback worthy of folklore as the Hawks then scored three unanswered goals. Fjodorovs and Brencis scored their third goals respectively while Steven Adams got his second of the night. This was before the Giants slotted home their fourth through Ross Bickerstaff. Reynolds and Dos Santos picked up the assists. The Hawks responded with a goal through Viktors Serdjukovs. However, the Giants replied with Roberts picking up his second. While Rory Farrell of the Hawks rounded off the scoring with two goals in the last minute of the game.
Sat 28th Feb @ 7:15 pm – Hawks v Belfast Giants
Final Score: 14 – 5 (4 – 1, 4 – 1, 6 – 3)
SOG: 74 – 29 (22 – 12, 24 – 8, 28 – 9)
PIM: 10 – 10 (2 – 4, 4 – 2, 4 – 4)
Saves: Dickson (33/41), Bickerstaff (27/33) – Strazds (18/20), Kurelass (6/9)
*Photograph courtesy of www.derektuitephotography.ie