By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars were at full strength for the first leg of the Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals and it was fast paced start from both teams but Dundee created the some of the best chances for an early goal in the opening minutes.
However, Glasgow goalie, Patrick Killeen was not giving up anything early and his team responded with a period of pressure on the Dundee net, although the game would remain scoreless.
Matt Marquardt, the Stars captain, nearly changed that when he got through on the Clan net in the seventh minute but his shot dragged to the right and went off target.
A few seconds later, Dundee’s Kevin Dufour followed that with another chance for the home side as he also got in behind the opposition defence but he could not get his shot away on the first go and saw his second effort denied as Killeen recovered his position after preparing to stop the first shot.
Omar Pacha’s men continued to have the best opportunities to open the scoring and the next chance came to defender, Jagger Dirk, who put a rising shot on course for the top right corner.
However, at the last second the shot hit Dundee’s Anthony Beauregard and that sent it up in the air before a whistle came for the Stars forward being inside the goal crease.
Another attack was launched by the Tayside team in the 13th minute and again they went close to getting the first goal.4
Most players were engaged in a battle for the puck near the boards on the left side of the Glasgow end but Dundee’s Drydn Dow had stayed wide and when his team won control of the puck, the pass was sent out to Dow and he let rip on a shot that just flew over the crossbar.
Glasgow got no break from the pressure and were left to breathe a sigh of relief as Brett Stovin’s shot hit the crossbar but they then had to endure two minutes of playing two skaters down as Linden Springer and Mikael Lidhammar were both called for tripping fouls on 17 minutes.
There were countless opportunities for Dundee to get ahead, two of the best were when Justin Maylan and Dufour were exchanging passes from side-to-side across the face of Killeen’s goal.
When Dufour fed a pass to Maylan, he was gutted to see his shot hit the outside of the side netting then when the two swapped roles, Dufour watched his shot be denied by a great toe save from Killeen.
Zack Fitzgerald’s men kept their opponents out for the two minutes and had a great chance to nick a lead when the penalties expired as Glasgow won possession as the pair exited the penalty box.
A long pass found Lidhammar but as he began to bare down on the Stars net, Jordan Cownie quickly intervened and forced him to loose control of the puck.
After that quick opportunity, it went back to being all Stars attack but they were lacking a few lucky bounces to help them finish off some rebounds and second chances.
In the final minute of the first period, there were opportunities for a late goal at either end, Marquardt again found himself through on goal but after his first shot was saved he was ready to pounce on the rebound but it was knocked away form him at the last second.
Meanwhile, going the other way was Nolan LaPorte but his fast shot from the right side was sent up and out of play by the blocker of Alex Leclerc in the Dundee net.
The first period ended how it started, tied at 0-0 but Pacha’s side had vastly out shot the visitors, with 26 of their 37 shots hitting the target, compared to Glasgow’s five.
Although, the Clan were quick off the mark in the second session and after just 45 seconds broke the deadlock.
LaPorte watched his initial shot be blocked by a cluster of Dundee defenders but the puck came straight back to him and he got his second effort through to Leclerc.
This time however, the shot slipped under the Dundee netminder and lay on the line behind him and Glasgow’s Chad Rau was the quickest to to react and pushed it over the line.
A few minutes later, Dundee nearly had the game tied up as Beauregard hit a first-time effort that was destined for the back of the net but again, the chance was prevented by one of his teammates.
This time the puck hit Craig Garrigan, who was standing on the back post and the puck was cleared as the Dundonian tried to turn in back towards the goal.
The home team were then on the penalty kill for the first time of the night as Elgin Pearce was boxed on a slashing call after 25 minutes but they were able to see out the two minutes without losing another goal.
The game passed the halfway mark and the Stars were edging closer to their first goal and it would eventually come in the 36th minute.
Dundee defenseman, Kris Inglis sent a lofted pass through the neutral zone and it was tipped down by Beauregard, who then controlled the puck and began to weave his way through the Glasgow defence.
He slipped past Travis Ehrhardt and then LaPorte before he beat Killeen with a low shot into the bottom right corner.
The Stars captain then put his body on the line to stop Glasgow re-taking the lead moments later as he slid across to block Craig Moore’s shot.
Late in the second, Dundee were back on the penalty kill as Jagger Dirk was caught hooking a member of the Clan after a small disagreement behind the Stars net but Glasgow again failed to make the man advantage count.
However, during the penalty, the Stars did have a two-on-one breakaway as Pearce and Stovin raced up the ice.
Pearce squared a pass to his teammate but Stovin was denied by an amazing stop from the Clan keeper, as he stacked his leg pads together and lay on his side to keep the shot out.
The game was still without a leader after two period but there was still twenty minutes for one side to create a strong advantage for the second leg.
The third period began with action going from end to end but the Stars were soon back down to four skaters as Beauregard slashed a Glasgow player as he went for the puck in front of the Dundee net.
Again, there was a shorthanded chance for the Tayside outfit but again they were denied by a phenomenal save from Killeen.
Marquardt was again the player in on goal and he had two chances to put his side ahead but his first effort was stopped by the leg of the Glasgow goaltender as he aggressively closed down the angle.
The second chance was squandered as Marquardt flicked a backhanded shot towards the net as he turned around in the left corner but Killeen dove across to his post to push it behind.
After their powerplay had expired, Fitzgerald’s side then had an opportunity of their own to get ab ck in front but after getting a shot past an already down and out Leclerc, the shot was blocked on the goal line by Dundee defender, Shawn Boutin before he smacked it clear down the ice.
Man of the Match:
Dundee: #71 Alex Leclerc
Glasgow: #32 Patrick Killeen
0-1 LaPorte (Bjerrum, Rau) 20:45
1-1 Beauregard (Inglis, Dirk) 35:29