SHEFFIELD STEELERS 3 KITMART DUNDEE STARS 1
By Kris Smith
The Stars arrived in Sheffield without defenseman, Kris Inglis and forwards, Alexandre Ranger and Dillon Lawrence but were facing a Steelers side also plague by injuries, as they were missing five bodies out of there line-up.
Sheffield dominated most of the early moments in the first period but both sides appeared evenly matched, despite the home team having some spells of early pressure.
However, the deadlock would be broken in the 16th minute after Dundee took some early penalties.
With both Craig Moore and Connor Sills in the sin bin for minor fouls, the Steelers used their two man advantage to open the scoring and it came via the slapshot of Evan Mosey from the right wing.
Aaron Fox’s side maintained their narrow lead until the first intermission and would go on to quickly double it in the second period.
Martin Latal got in behind the Stars defences and he forced netminder, Adam Morrison to be indecisive as he moved the puck between his forehand and backhand.
Eventually the Steelers leading goal scorer slotted the puck underneath the Dundee goalie from point blank range on 24 minutes.
With the Yorkshire club looking like they could start to build an even larger lead, the Stars came to life and suddenly had their opponents against the ropes.
Omar Pacha’s men had several key chances to get off the mark but luck did not seem to be on their side, until however, they were gifted a goal by the Sheffield goalkeeper.
Just as the match past the halfway point, Dundee’s Charlie Combs sent a rising shot on target from the right flank and it would be turned skywards by the blocker of Rok Stojanovic.
However, the puck would drop behind the Slovenian keeper and as he swung his arm back towards the crossbar to protect his net, he accidentally whacked the puck into his own goal.
The Scottish side continued to press the Steelers and had more opportunities to bring the score back level, but they could not find another route past Stojanovic.
Suddenly in the 37th minute, a fight broke out behind the play, as Sheffield’s Robert Dowd tangled with Philippe Sanche.
The pair had collided at the Sheffield end of the ice and Dowd held onto Sanche, as he wanted to have some words before dropping the gloves on the unsuspecting Star.
Dowd would be given a minor penalty and five-minute major for fighting after it was all over, leaving the Stars on the powerplay.
The closest Dundee came to an equaliser and capitalising on the powerplay was when Gabriel Desjardins effort struck the post and they would still be a single goal behind heading into the third period.
The next goal would be crucial and decisive, but it only took three minute to find out where it would go.
After a massive stroke of luck for Dundee in the second period, Sheffield received their own gift as Tanner Eberle’s shot bounced off the chest of Morrison and over his shoulder, before dropping into the Dundee goal.
From then on, the Steelers settled in and tried to protect their two goal cushion, but they had to deal with some strong pressure and waves of attacks from the Stars, in the late stages of the match.
However, the Tayside team could not find another breakthrough and the buzzer sounded to end their recent winning streak at three games.
Next up for the Stars is their Challenge Cup Quarter-Final first leg tie against Cardiff Devils at the Dundee Ice Arena on Wednesday night.
Man of the Match
Dundee: #1 Adam Morrison
Sheffield: #62 Martin Latal
1-0 Evan Mosey (Martin Latal, Todd Daine) 16:40 PPG
2-0 Martin Latal (Marc-Olivier Vallerand, Keaton Ellerby) 24:09
2-1 Charlie Combs (Spencer Dorowicz, Kyle Haas) 30:51
3-1 Tanner Eberle (Marc-Olivier Vallerand, John Armstrong) 43:04