Elite League: Belfast Giants bounce back from cup defeat to beat Nottingham Panthers
The Belfast Giants beat the Nottingham Panthers 3-0 to record their first win in defence of the Elite League title.
In a tightly contested battle at the SSE Arena, two goals from Liam Morgan and one from Curtis Hamilton were enough to secure the two points.
Shane Owen made 26 saves to record his first shutout as a Giant as they bounced back after Saturday's cup defeat at home by Dundee Stars.
The Giants are back in Challenge Cup action on Saturday against Fife Flyers.
After scoring only three times on 108 shots in the 4-3 defeat by Dundee Stars on Saturday night, it maybe came as no surprise that the opening goal of the game for the Giants went in off a Nottingham stick.
It came at 9:13 on the powerplay when Morgan's slap-pass, which was looking for Brian Ward, instead was deflected past his own netminder by Panthers defenceman Daniel Flick with Morgan getting credit.
The second period saw both goaltenders, Owen and Panthers' Kevin Carr, keep the offences at bay with a number of top quality saves, although Owen had cause to thank his post for stopping the blueline shot from Mark Matheson.
With only a few seconds remaining Ward was assessed a 5+game major penalty for tripping, much to the annoyance of Giants coach Adam Keefe.
However, three quick penalties called on the visitors at the start of the final period allowed the Giants to make the kill and gain some momentum and finally, after a number of close calls, they got the vital second goal with 5:46 left in the game.
It was worth waiting for as Lewis Hook and Ben Lake combined brilliantly to set up Morgan for his second goal of the evening.
Hamilton added an empty netter in the final minute as the Giants battled to make sure Owen got his deserved shutout.