Elite League leaders Belfast Giants beat Sheffield

Belfast Giants coach Paul Adey praises Belfast Giants after the victory over Sheffield Steelers

Belfast Giants moved seven points clear at the top of the Elite League with an important 5-2 win over title rivals Sheffield Steelers on Saturday night.

Sheffield, under former Belfast coach Doug Christiansen, scored first at the Odyssey Arena through Stephen Goertzen.

The Giants hit back to lead 3-1 through Colin Shields (2) and Robby Sandrock.

The Steelers were back in it when Drew Fata scored 1.40 from time but Robby Sandrock and Kevin Saurette got two late empty-net goals for Belfast.

It meant a four-point weekend for Paul Adey's Giants as they had beaten Fife Flyers on Friday night.

Belfast had gone into Saturday's game with a six-point lead at the top of the league, but Braehead's overtime defeat by Fife gave them the chance to stretch the advantage on their nearest rivals to seven.

The Odyssey fans witnessed an entertaining first period which ended with the Giants 2-1 up.

The Steelers took the lead with a fine break which ended with former NHL player Goertzen scoring his eighth goal of the season.

However, the Giants produced an instant equaliser with Jeff Szwez finding Shields who scored past Frank Doyle on 6.47.

Just 20 seconds later, the home side were in front thanks to a Robby Sandrock goal.

Former Sheffield player Shields got the only score of the second period and Belfast remained two goals up until defenceman Fata got it back to 3-2.

Sheffield looked sure to tie the game up but Belfast somehow kept them at bay before settling the matter with the two empty-netters.