The Belfast Giants suffered a narrow 3-1 loss on Friday night to the Glasgow Clan in the Elite League at the Braehead Arena.
John Curran put the visitors ahead, but scores from Jake Bolton, Luke Lynch and an empty netter from Reece Kelly handed the home side the victory.
The Giants and the Clan went into the game in fifth and sixth place respectively, with the Giants hoping that their game in hand over Dundee and Manchester (sitting just ahead of them in third and fourth place) would see them propelled up the league standings.
The mood in the Giants camp has been positive following their recent four-point weekend, with wins over Glasgow and Nottingham breaking their losing streak, but tonight’s loss may cause a loss of momentum.
The Giants started well, with Johnny Curran spotting a gap and rifling it into the top-corner to give his side the lead within two minutes.
The early back and forth continued, with not much between the two sides in the opening exchanges.
Mark Cooper was called for a hooking penalty and, despite a strong penalty kill, the Giants conceded when they went back to full strength courtesy of a fine strike from Jake Bolton for the hosts which levelled the scores at the end of the first period.
Glasgow gained the ascendency in the second period and Luke Lynch put the home side ahead with a backdoor finish, which stood after a video review. The Clan had a foothold on the game, but the contest remained on knife-edge going into the third period.
Glasgow held on for a solid penalty kill in the third period, with Reece Kelly called for tripping. The Giants also could not capitalise following further penalties from Matt Barry and Reece Kelly in the closing stages, despite the game being 6v4.
With the Giants desperate to salvage something from the game, Reece Kelly rubbed salt in the wound with an empty netter to make it 3-1 and a disappointing night for Adam Keefe’s men.
The Giants will seek to bounce back from the defeat as they return to home ice on Sunday December 3 at 4pm with the visit of the Sheffield Steelers.