By Kris Smith
Stars had a chance to make it another four-point weekend after defeating their oldest rivals Fife Flyers 4-3 in overtime last night.
Another two points tonight could move them just one point outside of the final play-off spot and Dundee were again without Andersson, Stadel and Harding. Meanwhile, Michael Ireland, Konstantin Teslyukevich and Callum Boyd did not ice for Edinburgh.
Malcolm Gould showed off his hot hands in the opening minute but failed to hit the target with his shot before Brian Hart seen his effort gloved by Tyler Beskorowany moments later. Caps were getting forward and came close when Travis Fullerton quickly denied Pavel Vorobyev after he benefited from a defensive error and created a breakaway.
Both goalies were relied upon to make key saves, but all the pressure was with Stars. Gould broke away from the Edinburgh defence again but was denied and the game remained scoreless. Dundee tested the Caps when a delayed penalty allowed them to bring on the extra skater, but the play was eventually blown down as Patrik Moisio sat for two minutes on a slashing penalty.
It became a 5-on-3 powerplay when Sergei Banashkov was guilty of slashing and the visitors worked the puck around the zone well but found no luck as both Anthony Mastrodicasa and Gould failed to capitalise on their chances. Vorobyev was the key dangerman for Edinburgh all night and he almost got the home side on the board as he found himself on a shorthanded breakaway, but he missed the entire goal.
Just as Caps returned to full-strength Marc-Olivier Mimar and Jimmy Jensen quickly combined in front of net and Jensen shot the puck past Beskorowany to give Dundee the lead at 12:44. It was not long before the Tayside team were back on the attack, Chris Lawrence showed off his skills before releasing a wrist shot straight into the top corner of the net at 13:49, doubling his sides lead to 2-0.
After the restart, Mike Cazzola went to the penalty box for interference and a dominant Dundee powerplay unit bombarded Beskorowany with shots, but they settled down and a patient move set-up Mimar for an easy finish, after all five skates touched the puck. The powerplay goal was scored at 16:08.
A too-many men penalty added to Edinburgh’s troubles but luckily for the home team, Stars failed to punish but were still hungry for more goals. Before the buzzer sounded to end the first period of play, the Caps netminder produced a highlight-reel save as he made the stop on the first shot but got his arm down to deny the waiting Dundee forward of an open goal.
Stars picked-up where they left off and held the Caps in their own end to start the middle stanza. Caps coach Michael D’Orazio was penalised for tripping and that put Dundee back on the powerplay as they were not letting up at 3-0 ahead.
Omar Pacha’s men were in full control and it took Caps ten minutes into the second period before they set-up an attack in the Dundee end. However, Mike Cazzola wheeled the puck around the net and passed to Vorobyev at the backdoor and the Kazakhstani player shot it into the gaping net with ease, getting his team off the mark at 31:01.
Pacha picked up a tripping penalty just after the halfway mark and once that had expired a speedy move by Caps was ended by Fullerton’s diving poke check. Dundee quickly turned around and broke down the ice and Jordan Cownie fed the puck to Mastrodicasa and he fired a fast wrist shot across the body of Beskorowany and into the net at 34:04. Now ahead 4-1 Cownie picked up his third assist of the night.
A delayed penalty against Stars led to heavy pressure from Edinburgh and Fullerton made seven or eight magnificent saves before the rebound fell to the Caps’ extra attacker, Denis Trakhanov, who flicked a backhanded shot high into the top corner at 38:43.
Pacha wanted his side to put the game to bed in third period but had a tough start as Edinburgh came out fast and quickly gained a 5-on-3 powerplay as Cownie and Hart headed to the penalty box. The Lothian team pulled one back through Igor Valeyev at 44:52 but less than two minutes later Stars hit back through Lukas Lundvald as he restored the two-goal cushion at 47:46. Gould was then sent to the box for slashing a few moments later but his teammates killed off the minor penalty.
He was released from the box and got on the end of a long-range pass, he was 1-on-1 with Beskorowany but dropped the puck back to the trailing Jensen and the Swede quickly sent it past the Edinburgh keeper for his second goal of the game and third point on the night at 51:49. It was almost 7-3 Dundee as they had unmarked skaters in front of goal and fired in multiple shots but Beskorowany bailed out his team.
Dundee seen out the final few minutes to secure their fourth win in a row and reeled in Braehead Clan to just a single point above them. The Glasgow team lost 5-2 in Manchester and Stars have three games in hand on John Tripp’s club with a double header in store next month. Mike Cazzola and Jimmy Jensen were selected as the ‘Man of the Match’ award winners.
Omar Pacha will be preparing his side for the visit of the Capitals next weekend before a trip down to Nottingham for the first match between Dundee and Panthers this season.
Photo: Ian Coyle