Continental Cup: Belfast Giants edge closer to finals with 6-2 win over Ritten

The Giants celebrated a second Continental Cup win with victory over Ritten Sport
The Giants celebrated a second Continental Cup win with victory over Ritten Sport

Belfast Giants took another step towards qualifying for January's Continental Cup finals by beating Ritten Sport 6-2 in Belfast.

It made it two wins out of two in the competition for the Giants, who beat Medvascek Zagreb on Thursday.

Blair Riley scored twice for Adam Keefe's side, who had to come from 2-1 down to the Italians.

Pat Dwyer, Francis Beauvillier, Darcy Murphy and Jonathan Boxill were also on the scoresheet for the hosts.

The Giants face Polish side GKS Katowice in the last of the three-day round robin semi-finals on Saturday.

With Katowice falling 3-2 to Zagreb in Friday's other game, the Giants are the only team with six points from two games and they will finish in the top two if they can avoid a heavy defeat to the Polish side on Saturday.

The victory over Ritten was a ninth win in a row of what has been a hugely impressive season so far for the Giants.

They were quick out of the traps in the first period and took the lead in the ninth minute when Dwyer picked up a loose puck and banked it in off the out-of-position Ritten netminder Thomas Tragust.

The Giants got off to a good start against Ritten but soon fell behind
The Giants got off to a good start against Ritten but soon fell behind

But the Italians, who were beaten by Katowice 4-0 in their opening game on Thursday, shocked the home crowd with a double strike, 34 seconds apart, to take the lead.

With David Rutherford in the penalty box, the equaliser was pocketed by Simon Kostner before Alex Frei fired the visitors in front.

It was Giants captain Riley who tied the game late in the first period when Tragust failed to hold on to a Murphy shot, allowing Riley a simple tap-in.

The home side seized control of the game with two goals in the middle period. It was another Riley close-range effort at 21:32 that put the Giants ahead and then at 33:09 Beauvillier's wrist shot from the right circle went high over the glove of Tragust and into the top corner.

The home team's dominance continued in the third period with Murphy adding to the lead and then turning provider for Boxill to poke home the sixth goal seconds after coming out of the penalty box.

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