By Kris Smith
Dundee Stars came up short again as they lost twice in extra time this weekend but earned two valuable points for their playoff push.
The home team were without the injured François Bouchard and Petr Chaloupka this weekend while the Clan were missing Travis Ehrhardt and Craig Peacock.
Stars almost took an early lead as Matt Marquardt had a chance in the opening minutes to send Dundee ahead but Joel Rumpel was equal to the winger’s shot.
Glasgow’s Brendan Connolly committed the game’s first foul inside the first three minutes as he was sent to the penalty box for slashing. However, the Clan were able to kill off the two-minute minor penalty.
Connolly made a speedy return to the sin bin as an interference call on the six-minute mark gave Dundee a second early chance on the powerplay. Again, they failed to capitalise but Glasgow were not as wasteful.
Shortly after returning to full-strength, Matt Stanisz led an attack for Pete Russell’s side and he fired a shot that was saved by the leg pad of Pontus Sjögren but Gerard Hanson arrived late at the back post to tap home the rebound in the ninth minute.
Although, Omar Pacha’s Stars were quick to respond. Just over two minutes after the opening goal, Charles Corcoran got between the two Clan defenders and caught up with an overpowered pass before pulling it away from Rumpel and finishing into the net with a backhanded shot.
A quiet period of back and forth play ended when Guillaume Doucet restored the visitor’s lead with one-minute left in the first period. Zack Fitzgerald’s shot was stopped by Sjögren but Doucet was lurking in front of the Stars goal and quickly put in the rebound to give Clan a 2-1 lead going into the first break.
Stars returned to the ice with a deep hunger to get back on level terms and they did in the 23rd minute. Lukas Lundvald provided the finish after he got into the Clan end alone and dispatched a puck under the legs of Rumpel.
However, Dundee went on the penalty kill for the first time straight after the restart as Lundvald caught Connolly in the face with his stick. Dundee seen off the Glasgow powerplay unit before both teams exchanged scoring opportunities but neither team could find the go-ahead goal.
Mike Sullivan cranked a shot off the post as Stars continued to get forward but they ran into more penalties just after the halfway point. Fabrizio Ricci picked up a hooking penalty in the 32nd minute but again Dundee were able to deny the Clan whilst a man down.
The Tayside team then went back on the powerplay as Michal Gutwald and Scott Tanski were both penalised at 35:19 for interference and tripping, giving Stars a two-man advantage.
Whilst on the five-on-three powerplay, Drydn Dow and Matt Marquardt exchanged passes before Marquardt quickly blasted a slapshot past Rumpel, sending the Stars 3-2 ahead after 36 minutes of play.
It went from bad to worse for Pete Russell as Hanson was thrown out of the game after boarding Lukas Lundvald seconds after the restart. Dundee defenceman, Mike Sullivan took exception to the hit and earned himself two minutes for roughing.
Once Glasgow returned to four skaters, Tanski stepped out the box and was immediately involved in the play, he got on the end of a long stretch pass and went one-on-one with the Stars goalie. The Clan forwards was able to beat Sjögren and tie the game in the 38th minute with a shorthanded goal.
The teams went into the final intermission level and the away team were able to kill off the remaining time on Hanson’s five-minute penalty. Glasgow then missed two chances to get in front as Kris Inglis and Connor Cox were both boxed for minor infractions.
The opportunities then went the other way as Lundvald missed the ‘pick of the bunch’ chance to beat Rumpel as he hit the top of the outside netting. Connolly was involved again as he had a chance to win the game for Clan in the final five minutes.
The Canadian forward fired wide of goal when he had plenty of space and a wide-open net to shoot at as Sjögren had been caught out of position. Dundee’s Brian Hart was then found guilty of hooking in the 57th minute, prompting Russell to use his timeout.
However, Glasgow’s powerplay was cut short when Doucet was penalised for holding his opponents stick and with 100 seconds left to play, Pacha also used his timeout to prepare his players.
Despite going on the powerplay, Stars could not beat Rumpel again and their offence was shut down. For the second night in a row, Dundee would need extra time to decide the winner. It took just 74 seconds for Matt Beca to end Stars hopes of snapping their losing streak.
Beca skated into the middle of the Dundee end and put a quick shot past two defenders, Sjögren and into the top left corner.
Pacha will be consolidated by taking another point but he will ultimately be disappointed to lose out on a valuable second point that could make a huge difference come April.
‘Man of the Match’ awards went to Scott Pitt and Dundee’s Brian Hart. The two sides meet again this Tuesday on the banks of the River Clyde as the Stars will be keen to get back to winning ways.