By Kris Smith
Dundee Stars lost their fifth straight game as they went down 5-1 in a game of controversy and bad luck.
The same pair of players missed out for Dundee again as François Bouchard and Petr Chaloupka are still injured but Glasgow welcomed back Travis Ehrhardt to the line-up leaving only Craig Peacock unfit to play.
It was also confirmed on Tuesday that Bouchard, Dundee’s top point scorer, will be out for the rest of the season with his current lower body injury ruling him out for the next three to six months.
The game’s first chance went the way of the Stars as Jordan Kelsall seen his shot from a dangerous area blocked by Glasgow’s Michal Gutwald in the opening minute. The visitors had some good chances again as a delayed call came against the Clan.
Eventually the penalty was called and Zach Sullivan headed to the box for a hooking foul in the fourth minute. Dundee were not able to take the lead on the powerplay but Fabrizio Ricci came the closest to scoring when his quick snapshot went across the body of Joel Rumpel in the Glasgow goal.
The home team finally got a chance in the Stars end and quickly punished the away team for not clearing the puck. After a series of shots by the Clan and a series of saves from Pontus Sjögren, Scott Pitt got the finishing touch to open the scoring in the seventh minute.
Dundee went down to just four defenders are Mike Sullivan put his body on the line to stop a Matt Stanisz slapshot and after the puck struck him in the face he was sent to the medical room for treatment with seven minute to go in the period.
There were loud appeals from Stars fans as Matt Marquardt’s shot appeared to bounce in and out of the Clan goal but despite protests for a video review of the goal from Dundee players, referee Toby Craig refused to make a review of the play.
That hugely impacted the game as Glasgow would go onto double their lead a few minutes later. A failed clearance was kept in and even though Sjögren stopped the first attempt, Guillaume Doucet was on hand to turn in the rebound after 18 minutes.
With just 18 seconds left in period one, Stars took their first penalty of the game as Kris Inglis was boxed on a hooking call. Dundee went into the first break on the back foot but they did managed to kill off the remaining time on Inglis penalty in the second.
However, they were not able to stop Clan from moving into a 3-0 lead as Gerard Hanson was the fastest to react and tucked a loose puck under Sjögren in the 23rd minute. Omar Pacha’s men almost found a breakthrough when Charles Corcoran switched a pass to Fabrizio Ricci but a great stretch save from Joel Rumpel kept out the Canadians’ effort.
There was a long period of back and forth action with both teams struggling to produce any dangerous chances but Stars were given a huge opportunity to get on the board before the final intermission as Matt Beca was penalised for hooking in the 38th minute.
Dundee failed to capitalise on the man advantage and despite a good solo skate from Marquardt he could not get his side off the mark before the end of the middle session.
The Tayside team came out firing and created three decent scoring chances but they just had no luck as each were denied. However, their chances of scoring were boosted as Brendan Connolly was called for a slashing foul in the 43rd minute.
Pete Russell’s penalty killing unit kept their 100 per cent record on the night as Stars came up short again. Luck was the continually missing factor for Dundee as rebound fell the wrong way at one end before Connolly made it 4-0, even though Sjögren had got a piece of shot, it trickled across the line.
However, Stars finally produced a quick response as Connor Cox got them on the board 28 seconds later with a slapshot from the blueline. Any hopes of a Dundee comeback were dashed as Beca put in the Clan’s fifth goal of the night in the 55th minute.
Inglis returned to the box a few seconds after the restart, this time on slashing infraction but it left Stars shorthanded and vulnerable to even more punishment from Glasgow. Pacha’s men were able to survive the penalty kill but they could not reduce the Clan’s lead anymore before the final buzzer.
‘Man of the Match’ awards went to Gerard Hanson and Dundee’s Charles Corcoran.
Dundee now have to regroup and evaluate their approach if they are to hold onto the final playoff spot when they come up against their biggest rivals, Fife Flyers this Sunday.
Photo Credit: Al Goold