The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars were in Belfast on Saturday night for their first competitive test against the Giants and in their penultimate Challenge Cup fixture, they faced a tough battle against the current cup holders.

By Kris Smith

The Stars were playing without four players, as Ben Brown fulfilled his two-way contract with Dundee Comets and Ben Sokay, Craig Garrigan and Kris Inglis all battled their way back from injury.

Belfast nearly had the perfect start as inside the opening 90 seconds, a dodgy bounce of the puck caught Stars goalie, Anton Svensson off guard and out of position, but the Swedish netminder recovered just in time to beat away the incoming shot.

Then on the four-minute mark, Giants forward, Gabe Bast saw his shot denied by the Dundee goalpost, but the home side did not stop applying the pressure and soon had an opportunity with the man advantage, as Dundee’s Mac Howlett was penalised for tripping.

However, Jeff Mason’s men stood strong and Svensson kept producing timely saves to keep the game scoreless, but that was only until a combination of skill and luck saw Scott Conway put Belfast in front first.

 

Dundee Stars goalie, Anton Svensson produced a number of key saves early in the first period. (Picture: William Cherry/Presseye).

 

The Giants forward rushed in on goal with the puck and after it slipped too far in front, he thought the chance was gone but to his surprise it evaded to Dundee defenders and Conway quickly latched back onto the puck and lifted it over the shoulder of Svensson from the edge of the crease.

That early goal shook up the Stars and they soon started pinning the hosts back into their own end and would find the equaliser on 13 minutes, through Romans Semjonovs.

Dundee defender, Drydn Dow kept a broken play alive by firing the puck in behind the Giants goal, where Philippe Sanche was able to dig it out from a bundle of bodies and the Canadian turned and teed up Semjonovs, who was waiting on the doorstep to smash it past Peyton Jones.

The Tayside Team then had their own powerplay chance just moments later but could not create their first lead of the night and the opening period ended with both teams still not separated.

Read the full report below!

 

 

All images: William Cherry/Presseye.

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
20 Games
6 Wins
12 Losses
2 OT Losses
14 Points