TRADE-MART DUNDEE STARS 6 BELFAST GIANTS 3
The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars became the first team to defeat Belfast Giants in domestic play as the downed last season’s treble-winners in a nine-goal thriller at the DIA.
By Kris Smith
The Stars would have to sit two players out of their line-up on Saturday night as winger, James Phelan missed out with an upper-body injury and new signing, Brent Beaudoin was still awaiting his international clearance.
However, that did not stop the home side from rushing straight into the lead as it took only 30 seconds for the puck to end up in the Belfast net after Ryan Valentini sprung a pass out from behind the goal for Brendan Harms to fire home.
Although, the Giants would soon level the score as Johnny Curran barged his way to the front of the Stars goal and tipped Jacob Friend’s low shot up into the top corner of Kevin Carr’s net, two minutes after they went behind.
Once the game faced-off again, Dundee did not lose their momentum and continued to hound the Belfast net and Tyler Beskorowany with shots but to no avail.
Adam Keefe’s men then found their way into the lead on nine minutes as with a delayed penalty being called against the Stars, Belfast got an extra attacker out onto the ice and applied heavy pressure.
Eventually they found a route to goal as Friend turned from provider to scorer after his long-range effort flew through traffic and into the right side of Carr’s goal.
The Northern Irish side also could have doubled their advantage in the 16th minute when Daniel Tedesco was hooked by Dundee’s Kyle Pouncy whilst on a breakaway and he would win a penalty shot but failed to find a way past Carr.
The Stars were fighting hard to get back on level terms but still trailed by one goal heading into the second session and their hard work would again pay off swiftly as Craig Garrigan made it 2-2, just two minutes into the middle period.
The Taysiders had made a quick play up the ice and as Anthony Rinaldi carried the attack forward, he cut a late pass across the Giants goal for the Dundonian to skate onto and bury past the stretching Beskorowany.
Despite creating another momentum boost, the Stars would fall behind again as the visitors capitalised on a powerplay with Carter Johnson in the box for hooking and on 30 minutes, Ben Lake would be the one to turn the puck in as Matthew McLeod’s accurate pass found Lake’s stick blade at the far post.
Marc LeFebvre’s side were still yet to show any sign of being disheartened and they kept working for another equaliser but would still be 3-2 down heading into the third period.
The score would again change quickly as just 39 seconds into the final stanza, Ryan Valentini picked out the top corner whilst rushing towards the Belfast goal and made it a 3-3 game.
Then just two-minutes later, Kyle Pouncy’s effort from inside the blueline would slip through traffic and under Beskorowany to put the Stars back in front and they soon began to suppress the Giants.
When the visitors did get their few chances, Carr was in top form to protect Dundee’s lead and club captain, Drydn Dow would give them a two-goal cushion on 52 minutes as he skated onto the end of a big rebound from Jake Elmer’s shot and blasted it past Beskorowany.
Dow would then net his brace whilst the Taysiders were on the penalty kill, as he fired into an empty net with less than three minutes to play as Belfast gambled early and pulled Beskorowany for an extra attacker whilst they were on the powerplay.
The Stars became the first team to beat the reigning Elite League, Challenge Cup and Playoff Champions in domestic play this season and they will carry that momentum into Wednesday’s road game in South Wales, as they take on Cardiff Devils for the first time this season.
Man of the Match
Dundee: #37 Kevin Carr
Belfast: #2 Jacob Friend
1-0 Brendan Harms (Ryan Valentini, Drydn Dow) 00:30
1-1 Johnny Curran (Jacob Friend, Greg Printz) 02:21
1-2 Jacob Friend (Charlie Curti, Ben Lake) 09:06 EA
2-2 Craig Garrigan (Anthony Rinaldi, Kris Inglis) 22:11
2-3 Ben Lake (Matthew McLeod, Ciaran Long) 29:44 PPG
3-3 Ryan Valentini (Spencer Naas, Brendan Harms) 40:39
4-3 Kyle Pouncy (Josh Brittain. Johnny Walker) 42:46
5-3 Drydn Dow (Jake Elmer, Josh Brittain) 52:26
6-3 Drydn Dow (Josh Brittain) 57:27 SHG ENG
All images: Derek Black.