By Kris Smith
Stars suffered defeat in Cardiff despite holding an early lead over the Devils in what was a close affair and something coach Pacha will be keen to build on.
Matt Bissonnette was still the only scratch from the Dundee roster, while Luke Piggott, Justin Faryna and Jordan Lawday all missed out for Cardiff.
Cardiff had a chance straight from the face-off as Joey Martin went close but was swiftly denied by Pontus Sjögren in the Stars goal. However, Martin found the net inside 53 seconds after he fired a quick shot from the slot.
Stars equalised against the run of play a few minutes later as Connor Cox finished off a loose rebound after a good shot by Matt Marquardt in the fifth minute. Mike Sullivan was then denied from close range before Cownie walked the puck into the crease before a highlight reel save from Ben Bowns robbed the Scot in the 10th minute.
Sean Bentivoglio almost got a breakaway before Cox stripped him of the puck. Cardiff were given the first powerplay as François Bouchard was penalised for tripping in the 12th minute. Stars returned to full-strength before the home side almost re-took the lead after a collision in the Dundee end but they were unable to capitalise on the chance.
Lukas Lundvald found the top corner from an extremely tight angle and despite a review of the play, the goal stood in the 19th minute. Despite Cardiff pushing for an equaliser late in the first period, time expired and Stars held the lead.
Brian Hart found some space but was denied by Bowns early in the second before Ben Blood drew the Welsh side level in the 25th minute. The Stars keeper made a huge save as the action went from end-to-end before Hart was denied on the doorstep after a spell of good play.
Omar Pacha’s side got their only powerplay of the night as Blood sat for interference in the 31st penalty. Although Dundee were creating dangerous chances on the powerplay, they could not finish any of their opportunities and the middle period concluded with the score tied at 2-2.
Andrew Lord got the response he wanted from his side in the third period, as a quick pass between Charles Linglet and Mike Hedden moved Sjögren out of position before Hedden finished the move and put Devils ahead 3-2 in the 44th minute.
The home team found a fourth goal after a dry spell of play, Layne Ulmer held possession behind the Dundee net before sending a pass out in front to Mark Louis and he buried his chance in 50 minutes. Hedden found himself on a breakaway but the Stars gaolie made an impressive save to deny the Devil.
Joey Haddad connected with a shot but Sjögren had gotten a piece of it, but not enough to stop it crossing the line in the 57th minute, sealing a 5-2 win for the reigning Elite League champions.
Joey Haddad and Dundee’s Pontus Sjögren were given the ‘Man of the Match’ awards. Stars return home to face the Glasgow Clan this evening, face-off 5pm.