Flames hit back af­ter Giants blow

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page -

MIKAEL Lid­ham­mer went down in his­tory as Guild­ford Flames’ first goalscorer in the top flight when he gave his side a 1-0 lead over the Belfast Giants on Satur­day.

Though the Giants went on to ruin the Flames’ in­au­gu­ral Elite League out­ing with a 6-4 vic­tory, Ian Wat­ters helped his side to a win just 24 hours later when the Guild­ford side played reign­ing cham­pi­ons the Cardiff Devils on Sun­day.

Af­ter fall­ing be­hind in Ire­land, a pair of Giants replies less than a minute apart turned the lead over, but a Ben Davies strike in­side the pe­riod’s fi­nal five min­utes en­sured a tie at the break.

The Giants scored two more in the sec­ond pe­riod to take a strong lead.

John Dun­bar cut it back when he found the net but a last-sec­ond strike by Spiro Goulakos opened a two-goal dif­fer­ence ahead of the third.

David Lil­lieström Karls­son pulled Sur­rey’s men to within a goal but Colin Shields made it 6-4 with min­utes to go.

The next day, the Flames wiped the mem­ory of their Ir­ish de­feat, tak­ing a 1-0 lead early in the first pe­riod against the Devils through Wat­ters. Cardiff lev­elled a minute later but de­spite a pow­er­play from the Welsh side it was the Flames who led at the break when Wat­ters tipped in Calle Ack­ered’s shot for 2-1.

The Devils re­stored par­ity at the start of the sec­ond but Dun­bar put the Flames back in front. The Cardiff team drew level for a third time but Rhett Rachinksi’s first goal as a pro­fes­sional gave the Flames a 4-3 ad­van­tage go­ing into the third pe­riod.

To­mas Nechala buried a loose puck to make it 5-3 be­fore Wat­ters com­pleted his hat-trick. David Lil­lieström Karls­son added a sev­enth and though the vis­i­tors got one back, Ack­ered’s pow­er­play goal re­stored the four­goal spread and ended the con­test.

Head coach Paul Dixon said: “I am so pleased for these guys that a good ef­fort has fi­nally been re­warded with a win. They work hard, they skate all game long and, in­clud­ing the chal­lenge games, they de­served at least a lit­tle some­thing in terms of re­sults.”

Paul Dixon

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