Picture: Mark Ferris
By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars struggled to break down the Storm defences in Manchester and were shutout on the road on Saturday night.
The home side had all the early chances and quickly opened the scoring after 75 seconds, as their early pressure paid off.
Mathieu Gagnon arrived late into the Dundee end and took a pass from Jared Aulin before firing a shot that just slipped between the legs of Leclerc and trickled across the line.
The Stars responded with a fast counter-attack a few moments after the goal but after cutting across the Manchester goal, Colton Kroeker was denied by the stretching leg-pad of Matt Ginn.
Dundee were then shorthanded as Anthony Beauregard received the first penalty of the match after committing a hooking foul in the 6th minute.
Omar Pacha’s side survived the two-minute powerplay but the Storm added to their lead in the 10th minute.
Adam Hughesman was left unmarked at the back post and was free to turn in the rebound of Kyle Hope’s effort before Alex Leclerc could get across to make a save.
Dundee’s Shawn Boutin was next to head to the penalty box for tripping after 11 minutes but again the Scots did well on the penalty kill before Kevin Dufour had a chance to get the Stars off the mark. but Ginn, again kept his team in front.
Cam Critchlow was sent to the sin bin for 12 minutes in the 15th minute after he hit Dundonian, Craig Garrigan into the boards from behind and picked up a misconduct penalty for checking from behind.
The visitors had plenty of chances in the final few minutes but could not breakdown Manchester’s defences and Ryan Finnerty’s men held their 2-0 lead until the first break.
In the second period, the Stars made a push but still could not open their account, even after another powerplay chance as Gagnon sat for two minutes on an interference call.
The Storm went back on the powerplay in the 29th minute as Elgin Pearce picked up two minor penalties but the home side cut their man advantage short as Raymond Grewal was boxed for tripping.
Grewal had attempted to make a sliding block as Kroeker and Beauregard broke through into the Manchester end but he wiped out Kroeker after the Stars forward had squared a pass to Beauregard who got a shot off, however, Ginn got his glove up to keep his effort out.
Henrik Samuelsson’s name was added to the penalty column on the game sheet after 34 minutes after he was penalised for cross-checking his opponent but it was his side that took advantage off the situation as Aulin netted a shorthanded goal after 35 minutes.
Both side were then left with just four skaters as Drydn Dow cleared the puck out of play in his own end, putting him off the ice for two minutes on a delay of game call.
More penalties came at the end of the second session as Pearce and Manchester’s Layne Ulmer both received minors for roughing.
In the third stanza the Stars had gone close to finally beating Ginn whilst on their carried-over powerplay but after Ginn made the first stop, the rebound was quickly cleared away.
Pacha’s men continued to create scoring opportunities but the Storm defence were still defiant and continued to frustrate the Taysiders.
Beauregard and Egils Kalns both ended up in the sin bin in the final minutes of the game for minor penalties, but the Altrincham club were happy to sit back and ride the late pressure, which they did and secured a 3-0 victory.
Dundee will have to wait for their next chance to record their first win of the season in Manchester and that win has moved the Storm level on points with the Stars.
Man of the Match
Dundee: #19 Anthony Beauregard
Manchester: #1 Matt Ginn
0-1 Gagnon (Aulin, Puskarich) 1:15
0-2 Hughesman (Hope, Critchlow) 10:06
0-3 Aulin (Ulmer) 36:05 SHG