CARDIFF DEVILS 7 TRADE-MART DUNDEE STARS 4
The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars battled back and forth with Cardiff Devils all-night long on Saturday but came out on the losing side of a 7-4 game.
By Kris Smith
The Stars had a fully fit roster available for selection and had to scratch one healthy import, which would be forward, Tommy Parrottino and the home side also iced a full line-up.
Cardiff got off to a quick start when defenseman, Josh Batch fired a puck on goal from just inside the blueline and it would sneak past Dundee goalie, Kevin Carr as his vision was blocked by the traffic in front, in the fourth minute.
The Stars then ended up on the penalty kill a few minutes later as Ryan Valentini was punished for interference and that allowed Joey Martin to double the Devils lead on 12 minutes, with a shot into the right corner from the top of the left circle.
Then just over a minute later, Cardiff made it 3-0 as Justin Crandall tipped Cody Donaghey’s shot past Carr and that forced former Devil, Josh Brittain to drop the gloves as he tried to fire up his teammates.
After Riley Brandt made a hit along the board on Kris Inglis, Brittain quickly went after his ex-teammate and the pair were quick to exchange blows but soon both became tangled up and were struggling to get their arms free and after finally swapping more punches, they wrestled to the ice.
Some say it may have paid off as Dundee struck back late in the period to cut the lead back down to two goals as Jake Elmer picked out James Phelan on the doorstep of the Devils goal.
The Canadian then smartly and unselfishly pulled the puck back before passing it to Anthony Rinaldi, who had a wide-open net to shoot at, with just 20 seconds left in the period.
Marc LeFebvre’s men then started off the second period exactly how they ended the first, with Phelan turning from provider to scorer as he redirected Chris McKay’s shot past Ben Bowns, just 10 seconds after the restart.
The home side would eventually respond 10 minutes later to restore their two-goal cushion as Ben Davies found Tyler Busch crashing towards the back post and he turned home their fourth goal just after the halfway mark.
Once again, the Devils found another goal in just over 60 seconds and this time Jamie Arniel put the puck in the back of the net after he poked home a loose puck during a scramble in front of the Stars goal.
Although, the Tayside team responded quickly and brought it back to 5-3 just 14 seconds later, as Carter Johnson broke down the left wing and slung a puck on net from an extremely narrow angle but it would get behind Bowns at his near post.
In the third period, the two sides continued to fight back and forth for the crucial next goal and eventually in the 53rd minute, Bode Wilde’s effort would beat Carr as he fired high past the Dundee netminder from the slot.
However, two minutes later, Johnson would provide another goal to keep the Stars within striking distance and it all came from a spectacular move from the Canadian.
Elmer had played the puck to Johnson, who was positioned on the front post of Bowns’ goal and he quickly pulled the round and flicked it straight into the top corner before anyone else had even realised what had happened.
With five minutes remaining, it was all to play for and Dundee kept hunting down a fifth goal to bring it back to a one-goal game but in the final two minutes, Carr was swapped for the extra attacker and Crandall would seal the 7-4 victory by hitting the empty cage.
The Stars were left with nothing to show for their efforts but have to regroup ahead of Sunday’s visit from Nottingham Panthers, as they look to close back in on fifth spot in the Elite League standings.
Man of the Man
Dundee: #18 Carter Johnson
Cardiff: #22 Justin Crandall
1-0 Josh Batch (Trevor Cox) 04:14
2-0 Joey Martin (Marcus Crawford, Cole Sanford) 11:53 PPG
3-0 Justin Crandall (Cody Donaghey, Josh Waller) 13:01
3-1 Anthony Rinaldi (James Phelan, Jake Elmer) 19:40
3-2 James Phelan (Chris McKay, Josh Brittain) 20:10
4-2 Tyler Busch (Ben Davies, Marcus Crawford) 31:41
5-2 Jamie Arniel (Cole Ully, Tyler Barrow) 32:52
5-3 Carter Johnson (Brent Beaudoin, Drydn Dow) 33:06
6-3 Bode Wilde (Cole Ully, Jamie Arniel) 52:36
6-4 Carter Johnson (Jake Elmer, Brent Beaudoin) 54:42
7-4 Justin Crandall (Marcus Crawford, Evan Mosey) 58:44 ENG
All images: James Assinder.