The Belfast Giants proved to be superior over their Netherlands opponents, the Tilburg Trappers, beating them by a score of 4-1 to open up the Group B stage of the Continental Cup.
Belfast’s first period saw the club pester longtime Netherlands national goaltender Ian Meierdres early, forcing him to make 16 saves early. He wouldn’t have a perfect period between the pipes, however, as Adam Keefe found the back of the net with five minutes remaining in the opening frame, giving his club the 1-0 lead heading into the change room.
It would take less time in the second for the team to record their second goal of the game. This time it would be Mark McCutcheon, who squeezed the puck past Meierdres to make it 2-0 Giants with half the game to go. Just 52 seconds later, defenceman Cody Brookwell gave Belfast the safe 3-0 lead, ripping a shot from the blue line to capitalize on his team’s momentum, Belfast would record one more just for fun later in the second, as a power-play goal by Mike Kompon gave his team the 4-0 lead heading into the third.
The Giants were lucky enough to have goaltender Stephen Murphy in the net for the contest, as he was forced to make 29 saves through three periods of action. It looked as though he had his shut-out secured late in the game until the game hit the 56th minute, as Jurryt Smid beat Murphy close range to give the Trappers their only goal of the game. The marker proved to be meaningless at the end, as Belfast’s impressive effort throughout allowed the EIHL club to take the first game of the tournament on Friday.
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