The Kitmart Dundee Stars comfortably skated to a 3-1 win against their biggest rivals Fife Flyers in the first derby of the season.
Stars were at full strength again, while Joe Basaraba was not in the Flyers line-up.
Dundee controlled the game early on and quickly found a lead through François Bouchard. He was given room in front of the net and got the puck past Shane Owen at 1:58. Stars were then forced to defend as a tripping call against Petr Chaloupka left them on the penalty kill. Omar Pacha’s men killed the penalty but they were then penalised again for having too many players on the ice. Mike Cazzola had a big chance to draw the Flyers level but he was denied by Pontus Sjögren after the Canadian was left unmarked in front of the Dundee net.
Matt Marquardt had a chance shorthanded but Owen made the stop and the Dundee forward drew a hooking penalty against Fife’s Carlo Finucci. Both penalties were killed off before Bouchard played a lovely pass into Drydn Dow who smashed his shot beyond the Flyers goalie, doubling the lead at 12:35. The first period ended with Stars in control and looking comfortable with a two goal cushion.
There was a great chance for Lukas Lundvald early in the middle stanza as he nearly pulled off a nice wraparound move to increase Dundee’s lead. Jordan Cownie then used some nice moves to get through the home teams defence but Owen got enough of his shot to send it wide.
Stars still looked comfortable and in control, they were back on the powerplay when Chase Schaber was sent to the box for a holding infraction but the man advantage was not capitalised on.
Brian Hart moved Dundee 3-0 into the lead after his shot beat Owen at 32:17, the American forward had been left unmarked on the doorstep of the Flyers goal following a face-off win by Dundee. The home side caught a break as Jordan Kelsall was called for tripping in the 34th minute. However, they missed their chance to get back into the game as the penalty was killed. Not long after Mike Sullivan rattled the post moments before Lundvald was assessed a minor penalty for kneeing. Marquardt was next to hit the goal frame before Ricards Birzins was penalised for interference, cutting it down to four-on-four.
Stars started the third period on the powerplay and they were still the dominant side, creating chance after chance. Lundvald went close to increasing the lead once more but his shot was only just wide of the post. After making a huge save to keep Fife off the scoreboard Sjögren and Shawn Boutin were both given minor penalties but despite having a two man advantage, the Flyers were still unable to cause any problems for Dundee.
A late hit on a Stars player caused some handbags and it ended with Fabrizio Ricci picking up a roughing minor and Fife’s Danick Gauthier receiving a 2+2 for the same offence.
The game intensified as the physicality levels were ramped up and a few minutes later, Marquardt sat for two minutes for roughing after squaring up to Brett Bulmer.
Finally the Flyers scored and it was a powerplay goal from Schaber in the 53rd minute. The hosts revival was quickly dealt a blow when Jordan Buesa was penalised after catching Chaloupka in the face with his stick in the 56th minute. Stars could not restore their three-goal lead during their two minute powerplay but were playing even tighter at the back.
With two minutes remaining Owen was exchanged for the extra skater but after losing possession, he was returned. As the game approached the final minute Owen was exchanged again but his side failed to keep possession and the clock ran down as Dundee claimed both points in the first match between the two big rivals.
Jordan Buesa and Dundee’s Brian Hart were honoured as the best players in the game. Todd Dutiaume’s men will be hungry for revenge in tomorrow’s 5pm game at the DIA.