KITMART DUNDEE STARS 5 NOTTINGHAM PANTHERS 4 OT
The Kitmart Dundee Stars took victory against the in-form Nottingham Panthers on Sunday evening to make it four points out of six, in a busy week for the Taysiders.
By Kris Smith
The Stars started brightly and had the best of the opening chances, with forwards, Connor Sills and Alexandre Ranger testing the opposition defences right from the off.
However, the home side then wasted an early man advantage as Panthers goalie, Kevin Carr was penalised for deliberately batting the puck out of play.
Although after the game settled into a quiet period of play as both teams tried to find their groove, Dundee finally made the first break through.
A quick transition from centre ice saw Philippe Sanche and Sills break forward with the latter squaring a pass to Sanche after beating the final defender, leaving the Canadian winger to apply an easy finish on nine minutes.
Then just 33 seconds later, Dundee rushed forward and blasted home a second goal.
This time it was Swedish wide man, Sebastian Bengtsson who won possession and darted forward, before placing an accurate shot into the top left corner.
The English side would eventually get off the mark too and there first of the night came through Robbie Baillargeon, who beat Adam Morrison from distance in the 15th minute.
The American soon had a brace, as the saved effort of Mathieu Tousignant flew over to the other side of the goal and dropped in front of the waiting Panther, where he could bank it in off the Stars goalie.
The two teams were level like they started, heading into the second period and the Stars once again came out and got straight onto the front foot.
After only 69 seconds of play, Spencer Dorowicz had Dundee back in front as he carried the puck from his own end before speeding past the entire Nottingham defence and tucking his shot past Carr, as he dived across the goal.
Omar Pacha’s men then quickly restored their two-goal lead, as 41-year-old defenseman, Markus Kankaanperä netted his first goal for the club.
The Finn picked out the open area above Carr’s left shoulder and placed an-inch perfect shot into the roof of the net, on 25 minutes.
However, once again the Stars would let their advantage slip and 62 seconds into the third session, Matthew Myers turned home the effort from Jeremy Welsh to convert a powerplay.
Then with less than 10 minutes left in regulation, Aaron Thow was gifted time and space in the middle of the Stars zone, allowing him to wind up and blast a slapshot straight past Morrison.
Despite that late blow, Dundee were still finding ways to create chances and keep the momentum behind them.
Sills then had a chance to steal all the points for the Stars, as he broke clean through on goal inside the final two minutes, but fired his shot wide whilst under pressure.
Overtime was required to find a winner but only 29 seconds of it was needed, as Sanche turned a giveaway by the Panthers in their own end, to the game-winning-goal.
Welsh’s attempted backhand pass to teammate J.C. Brassard was blocked and the unmarked Sanche quickly seized his opportunity and struck the puck past Carr.
A second win in four days has set the Stars up nicely for their trip to South Wales on Wednesday as they resume their Challenge Cup campaign and quest to reach the Semi-Finals.
Dundee take a 4-2 lead into Ice Arena Wales, as they dance with Cardiff Devils at 7:30pm, live on Premier Sports.
Man of the Match
Dundee: #51 Spencer Dorowicz
Nottingham: #9 Robbie Baillargeon
1-0 Philippe Sanche (Connor Sills, Michael Poirier) 09:32
2-0 Sebastian Bengtsson (Unassisted) 10:05
2-1 Robbie Baillargeon (J.C. Brassard) 14:32
2-2 Robbie Baillargeon (Mathieu Tousignant, Matthew Lane) 18:53
3-2 Spencer Dorowicz (Gabriel Desjardins, Markus Kankaanperä) 21:09
4-2 Markus Kankaanperä (Michael Poirier, Gabriel Desjardins) 25:00
4-3 Matthew Myers (Jeremy Welsh, Christophe Boivin) 41:02 PPG
4-4 Aaron Thow (Jeremy Welsh) 51:46
5-4 Philippe Sanche (Unassisted) 60:29
All images: Derek Black.