Belfast Giants: Adam Keefe's side bounce back with Storm victory
The Belfast Giants ground out a 3-1 win over the Manchester Storm in the Elite League at the SSE Arena.
Matt Pelech and two goals from Jordan Smotherman were enough as goalie Stephen Murphy made 20 saves.
The Giants goalscoring issues remain a problem as they once again outshot their opponents 42-21 but needed an empty netter to ice the victory.
Adam Keefe's side took three points from a possible four from the double-header against Storm.
The Giants were without defenceman Jesse Forsberg, who was suspended for a late hit during Saturday's shootout loss, and the first period ended scoreless with the Giants once again dominating play but with nothing on the scoreboard to show for it. The best opportunity fell to Jean Dupuy on a shorthanded 2-on-0 breakout but he failed to even hit the target.
Not for the first time this season, the Giants were punished for not taking their chances when Zach Sullivan's blueline shot appeared to take a deflection and beat Murphy to give the Storm the lead at 28:04.
The Giants were huffing and puffing but not getting a lot of change out of visiting netminder Matt Ginn until a minute before the end of the middle session when Pelech's innocuous little wrist shot found the gap between the pads of Ginn to tie the game at 1-1.
The momentum finally swung in the Giants favour in the space of eleven seconds off the third period.
Storm were awarded a penalty shot with 13:35 remaining but Scott Simmonds lost the handle on the puck. From the restart Smotherman took the puck down the slot, got a little lucky when it bounced back to him off a defenceman's skate right onto his stick and he buried it past Ginn.
Murphy made two big saves late in the game to preserve a victory that was secured when Smotherman was hooked while in the process of shooting on the empty net.
The Giants will next face the Dundee Stars at home on Friday evening.