By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars came up short in Guildford as tiredness set in and a well-rested Flames side punished them in the final period.
No injury troubles arouse from Friday night’s win but the Flames were missing Kevin Phillips as well as spare goaltenders, Chris Carrozzi and Jake Stoodley.
After a slow start to the game, where both teams were well disciplined it took just over ten minutes for the opening goal to be scored. Fabrizio Ricci put the puck past Travis Fullerton in the 11th minute to give Dundee an important lead on the road.
Omar Pacha’s men took that lead and also a powerplay into the first break as Corbin Baldwin picked up a cross-checking penalty in the 19th minute. However, Dundee could not add to their lead before the penalty expired.
Paul Dixon’s side finally found a way past Pontus Sjögren in the 35th minute, with Kruise Reddick firing the puck past the Swede. Although, Dundee were quick to respond as the captain, Johan Andersson led by example and restored the one-goal lead, 54 seconds later.
Another late penalty left the Flames a man short for the start of the third period, as Ian Watters had over a minute left to serve on his tripping minor.
Guildford were in penalty trouble again as they handed Dundee a short two-man advantage when Evan Janssen briefly joined Watters in the box for a hooking foul after 49 seconds of play.
Stars failed to punish the home team as tired legs began to kick in and the same powerplay that clicked in Glasgow did not turn up in Surrey. Another man advantage was wasted as Kevin King was the next Flame to be punished with a high-sticking infraction in the 45th minute.
The Tayside team then let their good discipline go as Brian Hart took their first penalty of the night for tripping in the 47th minute. Stars survived the shorthanded situation before Brett Ferguson brought Guildford back onto equal terms in the 50th minute.
Charles Corcoran was caught hooking a Flames player and was punished with a two-minute penalty, 48 seconds after Guilford’s equaliser. This time, the home team’s powerplay connected and Jamie Crooks put them 3-2 in front.
Despite desperate attempts to take something from the game, even with an extra attacker, Stars came up short. The loss will be difficult to take but two massive positives are that both Coventry Blaze and Manchester Storm also lost, meaning only a single point separates Dundee from the final playoff spot.
‘Man of the Match’ awards went to Travis Fullerton and Dundee’s Johan Andersson. The third and final game of this weekend road trip, puts the Stars against the Panthers this evening in Nottingham, where taking points is a must.