NOTTINGHAM PANTHERS 3 TRADE-MART DUNDEE STARS 4 (SO)
The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars ended their three-game pointless run with a thrilling battle in Nottingham and pulled off a stunning comeback in the penalty shootout to take the extra point.
By Kris Smith
The Stars would have to deal with being short benched when they arrived in Nottingham as Kris Inglis, Sean Allen and James Phelan all missed out through injury, whilst the Panthers were one player shy of a full line-up.
After a poor start last night, the Stars again gave up an early goal as Oliver Betteridge was left unmarked on the edge of the crease and turned Didrik Henbrant’s pass into the net, after only two minutes.
However, the Stars would not let history repeat itself and went straight on the hunt for an equaliser but it would take some time to find a way past Mike Robinson in the Panthers net.
Eventually in the 17th minute, Ryan Valentini played Spencer Naas down the left wing and he elected to shoot from a tight angle but would see his shot land in the back of the net after the puck snuck past Robinson’s head and into the top corner.
The two teams would head into the first break still tied but Dundee had generated the most chances as they continued to push for goals and early in the second session, Carter Johnson got the Tayside team ahead.
The Canadian used a Panthers defender as a screen as he released a shot between the defenseman’s legs and high past Robinson on 23 minutes.
Marc LeFebvre’s men could have opened up a bigger lead but would be pegged back when the home team converted on the game’s only powerplay, as Hugo Roy’s powerful effort flew past Kevin Carr, inside 33 minutes.
The Panthers then got back in front five minutes later as Westin Michaud won a face-off in the Dundee zone and played the puck back to Mathieu Lemay, who stepped inside and flung the puck over the shoulder of the Stars keeper.
Nottingham’s late lead would soon be cancelled out as the Stars did not quit and Brent Beaudoin found Jake Elmer lurking at the back post and the puck would be sent goalward off the skates of Elmer, with 39 seconds left to play in the middle period.
A scoreless third stanza would force these two teams to battle it out in overtime again, just like their last meeting in Nottinghamshire, and both Carr and Robinson were back-stopping well to keep their teams’ level at 3-3.
Both sides looked dangerous in overtime but still no winner emerged and penalty shots were required to separate the pair.
Lemay and Roy would score on the Panthers second and third penalties to give them a 2-0 advantage, putting all the pressure on Naas to keep Dundee alive, but he did just that with their fourth attempt.
Then Otto Nieminen would fail to end the game for Nottingham and that allowed Brendan Harms to step up and score to keep the Stars going and Didrik Henbrant also missed the chance to win the game for the Panthers, forcing a sudden death contest.
Lemay was then denied by Carr and Naas had the chance to score to claim victory for Dundee but he could not beat Robinson again, and in the seventh round of penalties, Michaud would fail to score before Harms netted high past Robinson to take the extra point for the Stars.
LeFebvre’s men rescued their weekend with two crucial points and that kept them inside the top four of the table but next up for Dundee is another visit from Cardiff Devils this Saturday.
Man of the Match
Dundee: #65 Craig Moore
Nottingham: #4 Simon Despres
1-0 Oliver Betteridge (Didrik Henbrant, Simon Despres) 02:09
1-1 Spencer Naas (Ryan Valentini, Brendan Harms) 16:09
1-2 Carter Johnson (Unassisted) 23:43
2-2 Hugo Roy (Carl Neill, Austin Farley) 32:23 PPG
3-2 Mathieu Lemay (Westin Michaud) 37:37
3-3 Jake Elmer (Brent Beaudoin, Drydn Dow) 39:21
3-4 Brendan Harms (Unassisted) 65:00 PS
Dundee: Ryan Valentini – Miss
Nottingham: Alexander Lunsjo – Saved
Dundee: Drydn Dow – Miss
Nottingham: Mathieu Lemay – Goal
Dundee: Jake Elmer – Saved
Nottingham: Hugo Roy – Goal
Dundee: Spencer Naas – Goal
Nottingham: Otto Nieminen – Saved
Dundee: Brendan Harms – Goal
Nottingham: Didrik Henbrant – Saved
Nottingham: Mathieu Lemay – Saved
Dundee: Spencer Naas – Saved
Nottingham: Westin Michaud – Miss
Dundee: Brendan Harms – Goal
All images: Panthers Images.