By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars found themselves 1-0 down after 20 minutes against the Coventry Blaze and a big second period lay ahead.
The opening chance went the way of Dundee and Anthony Beauregard was played through on a breakaway but Coventry goaltender, Jamie Phillips stuck with the Stars forward to keep his shot out in the 5th minutes.
Dundee were then shorthanded as Drydn Dow was penalised for tripping a Blaze player and it would prove to be a costly mistake.
Two Stars players collided in the Coventry end and turned over possession and the Blaze attackers went down the ice and Evan Bloodoff tucked the puck through the legs of Dundee netminder, Alex Leclerc after seven minutes.
Omar Pacha’s men nearly drew level as Beauregard put the puck in the net but the goal was not given as an premature whistle came from one of the referees.
However, Andrew Johnson was penalised for holding his opponents stick and that gave Dundee a powerplay.
Although, they could not capitalise on that chance and once their man advantage concluded, they then found themselves a man down again as Matt Marquardt was boxed for a slashing foul.
The home team had another big chance to draw level as Kevin Dufour and Brett Stovin combined to create multiple chances but the Blaze defence Jamie scrambled to keep the puck out.
Just before the end of the first period, Drew Schiestel was sent to the sin bin for a tripping infraction but the Tayside team could not get off the mark before the first break.
The second period had many more penalties as both sides were playing close to edge but when both teams dropped down to just four skaters each, the Stars were able to take full advantage and get on the board.
Colton Kroeker played a long pass that put Dufour through in on the Blaze goal and the Canadian sniper dispatched the puck under Phillips on 30 minutes.
Dundee avoided losing another goal after they picked up a few more minor penalties and they were unable to take the lead as Coventry’s David Clements was boxed for slashing in the final minutes of the second session.
The game remained tied at 1-1 after 40 minutes and the third period would be a critical 20 minutes for both sides.
The third period began with Dundee going back to four skaters as a too many men call put Brett Stovin in the box after 42 minutes.
Over the next five minutes, both teams had their opportunities, yet the game remained locked at 1-1.
The Stars then began to press and were looking like scoring before Justin Hamonic fouled a Dundee player to end the pressure.
Despite having the extra skater, it was actually the Blaze who took advantage of the situation as they scored a shorthanded goal to take the lead.
Alex Forbes found the net after Ross Venus had broken through the Stars’ defences before Dow caught up to him, forcing Venus to spin and send a pass across Forbes, who then fired the puck past Leclerc on 48 minutes.
Danny Stewart’s men looked like they would score a third but Dundee managed to defend well for the final 10 minutes.
However, they could not find that all important game-tying-goal before time ran out.
The Stars head coach would have been pleased to see his side concede less goals but now Pacha must take his side to Sheffield and win on the road on Sunday.
Man of the Match:
Dundee: #71 Alex Leclerc
Coventry: #51 Jamie Phillips
0-1 Bloodoff (Corcoran, Ferrara) 07:53 PPG
1-1 Dufour (Kroeker, Dirk) 29:30 4v4
Forbes (Venus, Hache) 48:28 SHG