NOTTINGHAM PANTHERS 4 TRADE-MART DUNDEE STARS 2
The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars made their second visit of the season to Nottingham Panthers on Sunday and were desperate for a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
By Kris Smith
The Stars were missing only the injured, Romans Semjonovs and two-way forward, Jonathan McBean for the trip to Panthers but they came out with a much-improved start, compared to Saturday’s home game against Manchester.
The first period would be a scoreless one but not without a number of dangerous chances, as both Dundee goalie, Anton Svensson and Peyton Jones in the Nottingham goal were made to work to keep the stalemate intact.
The first penalty of the match would not be called until the second period and it would go against the Panthers, however the home team had taken the lead just 45 seconds earlier.
Nottingham’s David Levin would break the deadlock with a clean finish that beat Svensson on his short-side, flying straight into the top corner but then shortly after the restart, Tanner Sorenson tripped up a Dundee player to put the Stars on the powerplay.
Dundee looked dangerous but failed to capitalise during the two-minute advantage, although Elijiah Barriga would then tie the game just after the Panthers returned to full strength.
Amongst a scramble in front of the Nottingham net, the American was perfectly placed to control a loose puck and jam it in just inside the post, as he fell forward and the Stars suddenly found a new gear, as they went forward with waves of attacks.
However, Svensson was still producing some outstanding saves at the back end to prevent the English club from regaining the lead, whenever they got forward.
Corey Neilson’s men then suffered a late blow as the Stars took a 2-1 lead just before the break as Philippe Sanche beat Jones with a quick shot into the top left corner from close range, in the 39th minute.
In the third period, Jeff Mason’s side quickly began to dominate possession and were hunting down a third goal, but it would be the Panthers who found the back of the net as J.C. Brassard turned a nothing play into an equaliser, as his low shot slipped under the Dundee netminder in the 43rd minute.
Although, the Stars came close to tying the game just a few moments later as Barriga’s backhanded effort slipped through Jones and stopped on the line, but the puck was eventually knocked across the line by a Panthers stick.
However, the trailing referee had blown his whistle before the goal was given and after a video review, the goal was disallowed, leaving the Tayside team with more to find.
After escaping their close call, Nottingham then began to gain control of the game and soon opened up a two-goal lead on 48 minutes as Jakub Izacky slung his shot between the legs of Svensson.
Dundee continued to push until the dying minutes but just as they considered gambling their goalie for an extra attacker, Sorenson picked out Matthew Myers with a cross-ice pass and he fired home the Panthers fourth of the evening.
The Stars had put in a much-improved performance and perhaps deserved at least a point for their effort but they remain five points adrift from the playoff spots, as other results leave things unchanged since the start of the weekend.
Man of the Match
Dundee: #10 Philippe Sanche
Nottingham: #39 Jakub Izacky
1-0 David Levin (J.C. Brassard, Fabrizio Ricci) 22:00
1-1 Elijiah Barriga (Ben Sokay, Chris Lidjsman) 25:16
1-2 Philippe Sanche (Hugo Reinhardt, Ryan Verrier) 38:36
2-2 J.C. Brassard (Mathieu Gagnon, Tanner Sorenson) 42:42
3-2 Jakub Izacky (David Levin) 48:20
4-2 Matthew Myers (Tanner Sorenson) 57:57
All images: Panthers Images.