By Kris Smith

After a thrilling encounter last night which seen Dundee fight back twice to claim a 7-4 victory and secure two crucial conference and league points, Stars head coach Omar Pacha was demanding his side made it back-to-back wins over Edinburgh Capitals as they attempt to climb the league standings and back into a play-off spot.

Edinburgh’s key man from Saturday night’s game, Sergei Banashkov, was ruled out of the second clash with Dundee after he sustained an upper body injury. Stars appeared to just be letting the Caps tire out in the opening minutes as they sat back to defend with the occasional attacking move.

Malcolm Gould hit the post after a quick break by Dundee and at the other end Travis Fullerton made a few saves to keep the home side off the board. Stars got the first powerplay of the game when Konstantin Teslyukevich was penalised for interference.

Tyler Beskorowany made a big save to keep it scoreless but just as the penalty expired Omar Pacha picked out the top corner from the top of the right circle to give his side the lead at 10:57. The visitors were back on the powerplay moments later as Teslyukevich went back to the box for a slashing call behind the play.

The Caps once again killed off Dundee’s advantage and were slowly making progress through interceptions which led to chances but Fullerton was there to deny every time. Each team lost one player in the final minute as a roughing penalty against Cody Carlson and bench minor for too-many men against Edinburgh meant there would be two-minutes of four-on-four hockey.

An early penalty against Stars made it a 4-on-3 as Anthony Mastrodicasa was charged with hooking, but as the co-incidental penalties expired Dundee picked up another. This time Emerson Hrynyk went to the box for slashing as Caps gained a two-man advantage but just as Dundee got one skater back they lost another, Joey De Concilys was penalised for interference.

Edinburgh had parked themselves in the Dundee end and a quick shot from the blueline was saved by Fullerton but Dylan Anderson was there to bat in the rebound out of mid-air to tie the game 25:37 on the powerplay. The rest of the middle period was full of end-to-end action but neither side could get the go-ahead goal, despite Brian Hart’s shot being saved by the blocker of Beskorowany late in the period.

Lukas Lundvald Nielsen created a good chance early in the third period, as he took the puck around the net before he released a pass across the face of goal but the Caps defenceman got a hold of it and cleared.

Dundee were back on the powerplay as Igor Valeyev was charged with slashing but the home team killed the penalty before getting a man advantage for themselves. Kolesnikovs smashed his shot off the crossbar but Dundee were clearing well despite heavy pressure from Edinburgh. Referee Pavel Halas requested a review of the Kolesnikovs shot that hit the bar and deflected down but after a second look, there was still no goal given.

Both teams failed on one more powerplay each despite Dundee ripping a lot of slapshots from the point. Valeyev had the game-winning chance when he cut through the zone with speed and Fullerton denied his first shot but Omar Pacha fouled the Caps player to ensure he did not get on the rebound.

He received a minor penalty before Stars picked up another one with just thirsty seconds left in regulation. Edinburgh failed to capitalise on a huge 5-on-3 chance that spanned into overtime. Dundee blocked many shots and their solid defensive performance was let down by a lack of clinical finishing at the other end. Mike Cazzola hit the side netting as time expired in overtime and the game required penalty shots to find a winner.

Malcolm Gould went first for Dundee and he was denied by Beskorowany before Fullerton made the save on Pavel Vorobyev’s low shot. Riley Stadel faked the first shot before dragging the puck around the Capitals netminder and shooting it into an empty net.

Mike Cazzola put Edinburgh back on level terms after he rifled a shot into the top corner.  Marc-Olivier Mimar then blasted a shot straight past Beskorowany to put all the pressure on Dylan Anderson. He cut left and went across the crease but Fullerton got his glove up to make the save and Dundee got their four-point weekend.

They now sit two points behind their next opponent, Milton Keynes Lightning and just five off the last play-off spot. Omar Pacha will be preparing his side for a huge weekend as they take the trip south to Milton Keynes on Saturday before facing Braehead Clan at home the following night.


Photo: Ian Coyle

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