The Belfast Giants looked impressive in downing the Athens Greeks in five games to claim the EURO Cup in Northern Ireland. This was the first year the team made the EURO playoffs and they went all the way.
The Greeks looked tight in the first period and managed only 5 shots on goal. Belfast, scored twice on 9 shots, with Sidney Crosby assisting on Micki Dupont’s first playoff goal and then on Nazem Kadri’s 9th of the post season about 10 minutes later.
The second period was an even one, with Dustin Byfuglien scoring for Athens to make it a one-goal game about halfway through the contest. But Belfast’s Dan Boyle scored a big goal with 2:40 left in the period on a snapshot that beat Cam Ward between the legs. The goal seemed to have a devastating effect on the Greeks.
The third period was all Belfast, as they charged down the ice repeatedly and fired 14 shots on Ward while allowing just 4 shots the other way. When Nathan MacKinnon scored his 5th of the playoffs a little more than 3 minutes into the third, it seemed to be the kill shot and when Kadri scored his second of the game with 3:34 to play, the Irish fans went into full-fledged party mode.
The 5-1 final score provided the most lopsided contest of the Finals series which saw Belfast outscore Athens 21-13 over the five games.
For General Manager Chris Patton, it is his second championship, according to the WSH website, having a WVHA title under his belt already. And it might not be his last in a month’s time. Patton’s Toronto Maple Leafs won the President’s Trophy in the PSL and are currently in the semi-finals there.