Continental Cup: Belfast Giants through to Super Final despite defeat against Katowice

Katowice came from behind to secure an unlikely victory over the Giants at the SSE Arena
Katowice came from behind to secure an unlikely victory over the Giants at the SSE Arena

Belfast Giants qualified for the Continental Cup Super Final despite completing their semi-final tournament with a 4-2 defeat by GKS Katowice.

Katowice join the Giants in going through to January's four-team final.

Josh Roach and Darcy Murphy gave Adam Keefe's men a two-goal lead, but Mikolaj Lopuski, Jesse Rohtla, Niko Tuhkanen and Janne Laakkonen secured a comeback victory for the Polish side.

The Giants won their first two games of the three-day tournament.

They beat Medvascek Zagreb of Croatia 4-0 on Thursday and followed that up with a 6-2 victory Italian side Ritten Sport on Friday.

The Belfast outfit, Katowice and Zagreb all finished with two wins each, with the Croatians missing out on goal difference and Belfast finishing top.

The venue for the four-team Super Final has still to be announced.

The home side knew they would qualify by avoiding a heavy defeat and took the lead in the first period when a little wrist shot from the blue line from Josh Roach went straight in past an unsighted Kevin Lindskoug in the Katowice net.

Murphy doubled the advantage just 31 seconds into the middle period, latching onto a David Rutherford pass and beating Lindskoug from the right circle.

However, Tyler Beskorowany had already made a number of key saves for the Giants to keep them ahead before the Polish champions hit back with a quick double strike to tie the game at 2-2 heading into the final period, the goals coming from Mikolaj Lopuski on the powerplay and Jesse Rohtla.

Katowice took the lead through Niko Tuhkanen and they secured a famous victory when Janne Laakkonen grabbed the empty net goal.

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