(Pictures: Al Goold)
By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars faced off with Glasgow Clan in a crucial playoff battle and both teams were still slightly shortbenched due to injuries.
The Clan had the first opportunities to open the scoring as they generated the early attacks but the Dundee defence showed cracks early on.
Each team took the puck from end-to-end but the match was still goalless after the first 18 minutes of play.
Both sides had played a clean and low tempo game but after Glasgow had the early pressure, they spent most of the middle section of the first period, preventing Dundee from finding a route to goal.
However, the Clan finally broke the deadlock with 100 seconds left in the opening period and they were put ahead by Chad Rau, who redirected Travis Ehrhardt’s shot past Dundee goaltender, Alex Leclerc.
In the second session, the home side almost doubled their lead as Rasmus Bjerrum played in Matt Haywood but he was denied.
Minutes later, Dundee created their first attack of the middle period and made it count, as forward, Egils Kalns fired a low shot that slipped through the grasp of Clan keeper, Patrick Killeen and that tied the game in the 23rd minute.
After reaching the halfway mark, neither team had taken the lead and they were match fell back into the back and forth pattern but one club would be ahead before the period was ended.
The third goal came after 35 minutes and this time it was the Tayside team that had went in front.
Dundee’s Anthony Beauregard stole possession from Glasgow’s Linden Springer in front of his own net and the Canadian forward, swiftly turned and slung the puck past Killeen at his left post.
Although, there was a brief powerplay chance for the Clan, as the Stars captain, Matt Marquardt picked up the first penalty of the game with just 54 seconds left to play in the second stanza.
Omar Pacha’s men were still in front going into the third but they still had over half of Marquardt’s penalty to kill at the beginning of the third period.
Dundee did manage to protect their lead until back to full strength and they want straight back on the attack with Colton Kroeker unable to stretch his side’s advantage on two opportunities.
Zack Fitzgerald’s side found a bit of puck luck and were able to tie the game at 2-2 on 47 minutes.
Leclerc made a blocker save on Matt Pufhal’s shot but luckily, the rebound dropped in the perfect place for Marcus Jonsson and after he spotted the loose puck, the Swede twisted away from his marker then pushed the puck home.
No one could find a winner before the 60 minutes of regulation time expires, so the match went into sudden-death overtime and it was the Stars who had most of the shots but they could not beat Killeen again.
After Marquardt and Beauregard denied, their netminder came up with two key saves late in the extra period to deny Matt Beca one-on-one and then Scott Pitt as he got forward inside the final 10 seconds.
Therefore, a shootout was required to find a winner and the first round of penalties saw Nolan LaPorte and Kalns both score before Bjerrum and Marquardt were then both denied.
Then in the third round, the teams remained tied at 1-1 as Rau and Dundee’s Matt Carter each failed to convert but on the fourth turn, Glasgow’s Travis Ehrhardt effort was saved by Leclerc before Dufour beat Killeen to his right, to give the Stars the advantage.
Former Dundee player, Michael Lidhammar had to score to keep the home team in the game but his shot was sent wide by Leclerc and Pacha’s side left with the extra point.
Despite Dundee winning two points, other results and Glasgow winning one point mean they are still not in the playoff spots but are now only a single point behind Manchester in eighth and three behind the seventh placed Clan.
The Stars are not in action for another week and they have two important matches, as they visit Fife Flyers and host Guildford Flames next weekend.
Man of the Matchby
Dundee: #6 Drydn Dow
Glasgow: #16 Rasmus Bjerrum
1-0 Rau (Ehrhardt, LaPorte) 18:40
1-1 Kalns (Stovin, Garrigan) 22:39
1-2 Beauregard (Dufour) 35:17
2-2 Jonsson (Pufahl, Haywood) 47:37
2-3 Dufour (Unassisted) 65:00 PS
In goals: Leclerc (Dundee) & Killeen (Glasgow)
Glasgow: LaPorte – Goal
Dundee: Kalns – Goal
Glasgow: Bjerrum – Saved
Dundee: Marquardt – Saved
Glasgow: Rau – Saved
Dundee: Carter – Saved
Glasgow: Ehrhardt – Saved
Dundee: Dufour – Goal
Glasgow: Lidhammar – Saved