By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars made it four wins on the bounce after fighting back from behind twice to beat two teams above them in the league.
Amidst Dundee’s injury crisis that has taken François Bouchard, Matt Bissonnette and captain Johan Andersson out for an unknown amount of time, they were boosted by the early return of Jordan Kelsall from his international duties with GB. Guildford choose to rest Chris Carrozzi and they still awaited the return of their GB Under 20 internationalists, Joshua Waller and Richard Krogh.
Both sides exchanged chances in the opening minutes but after a short spell of Guildford pressure it was Dundee who looked the most dangerous. Travis Fullerton was forced to hold onto a couple of dangerous shots that came his way. Dundee’s Mike Sullivan put his body on the line to stop Kruise Reddick’s effort getting through to Pontus Sjögren.
The first entry onto the game sheet came in the 17th minute as Shawn Boutin was penalised for hooking. However, Paul Dixon’s men could not take advantage with the extra skater before Dundee’s defence continued to thwart the Flames. A crucial block was made by Boutin to prevent John Dunbar’s pass going across the face of goal.
Omar Pacha was extremely frustrated when a second penalty was called against his side with 22 seconds on the clock. Drydn Dow would sit in the sin bin for opening 98 seconds of period two after he hit the puck out of bounds.
With just eight seconds left on the powerplay, the Flames advantage was cut short as Jamie Crooks was guilty of a slashing foul. The home team also failed to make user of the powerplay and the game remained scoreless.
Fullerton and Sjögren continued to deny everything that came their way as the match reached the halfway point without any goals. The deadlock was finally broken as John Dunbar turned in Reddick’s long-range pass in the 34th minute. Reddick was then boxed on a slashing call to give Stars their second powerplay, late in the middle stanza.
However, the Surrey side did enough to protect their slim lead going into the final intermission. Dundee almost found a leveller as Dow’s rising shot was turned over by the stick of Fabrizio Ricci. The Flames defence continued to prevail against constant attacks from Stars as they searched for an equaliser.
The home team’s first goal finally came following a dangerous hit on Ricci, as he went head first into the boards but the Canadian forward got straight back up and set-up an easy backdoor finish for Charles Corcoran in the 54th minute.
There was a brief stoppage with less than three minutes to play as Guildford’s Crooks took a puck to the head and required some attention from the medical staff. The visitor’s goal scorer, Dunbar, was caught slashing with 85 seconds left in the match, giving Dundee a powerplay at the most crucial time.
After using his timeout, Pacha’s men failed to find a winner in regulation but they still had 36 seconds remaining on their man advantage for the overtime period. The Flames seen out the penalty but on the 63-minute mark Matt Marquardt would win it for Stars. He drove towards the net from the left wing before putting a shot off the shoulder of Fullerton and the rebound fell to the Canadian and he slid home the winner.
‘Man of the Match’ awards went to Travis Fullerton and Dundee’s Matt Marquardt as the Taysiders claimed their first win over the Flames since they joined the Elite League.