BELFAST GIANTS 6 TRADE-MART DUNDEE STARS 2
The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars lost out on any points in Northern Ireland on Wednesday night after they had a physical and fiery battle with Belfast Giants at the SSE Arena.
By Kris Smith
The Stars had a full line-up icing in Belfast and sat out forward, Brent Beaudoin as a healthy scratch and that meant their team sheet remained unchanged from the two victories at the weekend.
It would be a physical battle throughout the opening minutes as both teams competed for control and after nearly nine minutes of back and forth, the scoring would begin.
Matt McLeod put the home team ahead after he was left unmarked on the doorstep of the Dundee goal and he turned Blake Speers pass into Kevin Carr’s net, before 50 seconds later, Ben Lake doubled the lead by finishing off the cross-ice pass from Josh Roach.
However, the Stars quickly found a response as Spencer Naas netted his 28th goal of the season and dispatched the puck into the bottom corner with a backhanded effort, on 11 minutes.
Marc LeFebvre’s men pushed hard for an equaliser and came close to beating Jackson Whistle again but were stung by a third goal for Belfast as Travis Brown punished with another finish from close range, in the 16th minute.
The first period ended with blows being exchanged as tensions boiled over and Josh Brittain dropped the gloves with Giants blueliner, Jacob Friend, which after a short bout saw Brittain put his opponent to the floor.
In the second session, Adam Keefe’s side came out flying and instantly made it 4-1 after only 28 seconds, as Daniel Tedesco picked out David Goodwin at the back post for a tap-in.
The Tayside team had a few powerplay opportunities but failed to make any count, although defenseman Chris McKay cut the lead to 4-2 at the halfway-mark as he intercepted a pass in the Belfast end and stuck the puck straight past Whistle.
The fiery tensions continued to bubble over in the third period and after a hard hit to Dundee forward, Tommy Parrottino by Will Cullen, Stars center, Carter Johnson rushed to his teammates defence and made Cullen answer for the hit that left his teammate injured on the play.
Despite the big spark from Johnson’s fight, the Stars could not make any of their chances count and the game would look to be beyond them after McLeod netted his second of the evening with a fast-paced move up ice, where he slipped the puck past Carr.
The final goal of the game came inside the final minute as a goal line clearance by Johnny McBean was not enough to stop Cameron Pound from turning home a loose puck to make it 6-2.
Dundee now have only one full day to rest up and prepare for another away trip as they visit Manchester Storm on Friday night and then welcome the league leading, Sheffield Steelers on Sunday.
Man of the Match
Dundee: #55 Chris McKay
Belfast: #2 Jacob Friend
1-0 Matt McLeod (Blake Speers, Bobby MacIntyre) 08:52
2-0 Ben Lake (Josh Roach, Daniel Tedesco) 09:41
2-1 Spencer Naas (Brendan Harms, Ryan Valentin) 11:03
3-1 Travis Brown (Will Cullen, Sean Norris) 15:21
4-1 David Goodwin (Daniel Tedesco, Ben Lake) 20:28
4-2 Chris McKay (Unassisted) 30:44
5-2 Matt McLeod (Josh Roach, Jeff Baum) 52:30
6-2 Cameron Pound (Sean Norris, Ciaran Long) 59:26
All images: Struan Davie.