TRADE-MART DUNDEE STARS 4 CARDIFF DEVILS 5
The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars took to the ice on Sunday evening at home against Cardiff Devils in their only game of the weekend and the action was fast-paced to start with as both teams went back and forth looking to find an early goal, but both goaltenders made a good start to the match.
By Kris Smith
The Stars had no injuries and faced an similar-strength Devils side, as both teams only iced five defensemen but each team’s defence would hold strong through the opening 10 minutes, despite being well tested.
However, the first goal of the night would come just before the 15-minute-mark as the Devils turned a clearance into a breakaway, with Trevor Cox slipping a pass through to Cole Sanford that beat the last defender and played him in on goal, where the Canadian made no mistake and buried his shot low into the bottom corner of Anton Svensson’s goal.
Dundee would have to fight off more attacks from Cardiff in the remainder of the opening period but did not lose another goal and came close to finding an equaliser, but Taran Kozun would remain unbeaten through the first 20 minutes.
In the second session, the visitors quickly doubled their lead as Stefan Fournier found space on the right flank, before cutting across the Stars goal and tucking his shot past Svensson, but that early setback only sparked life into Dundee.
Straight from the restart, the Stars moved forward and after protecting the puck deep in the Devils end, Ian Parker moved possession to the middle and laid the puck off for Dundonian winger, Craig Garrigan and he rifled his effort past Kozun to half the lead.
Both clubs were then working even harder for the next goal as it could prove decisive and it would eventually come in the 30th minute as Philippe Sanche fired high into the net to convert the Stars first powerplay of the night, with Ryan Penny in the Cardiff sin bin for tripping.
Just before the equalising goal, tensions had begun to boil over as Riley Brandt and Dundee’s Ryan Verrier dropped the gloves at a face-off for a very quick scrap that saw the pair quickly fall to the ice after exchanging a few blows.
Although, Dundee’s spirts would be swiftly dampened as just one minute later, Sanford bagged his brace when he turned home the rebound from Marcus Crawford’s saved effort, but the Stars showed resilience and found another leveller.
The home team were back on the powerplay and quickly converted again as Parker used his massive frame to block the vision of the Devils goalie, before turning Drydn Dow’s long-range effort into the net, on 37 minutes.
The middle period ended with more rising tensions as a series of handbags put five players into the penalty box, two Stars and three Devils, which left the Tayside team with a man advantage to start the third period.
However, Jeff Mason’s powerplay unit were unable to score a third time and give them a goal that would put Dundee in front for the first time on the night and just four minutes into the final stanza, Sanford collected Cox’s cross-ice pass and fired past the moving Svensson to restore the Welsh club’s lead.
Brodie DuPont’s men then made it 5-3 on 50 minutes, as Joey Martin got involved in the scoring, turning home another cross-goal pass and the much more disciplined Devils side looked comfortable closing out the rest of the game.
Meanwhile, the Stars found themselves in some penalty trouble but after returning to full strength in the final minute, they caught Cardiff in a line-change and that allowed Carter Folk to get in behind the Devils defence and bury his shot into the net on Kozun’s blocker side, but with only 28 seconds left, they needed something special to tie the game once again.
Mason immediately called his timeout and setup a plan, but Dundee were unable to execute any of it as Cardiff suppressed them for the final seconds and hung on to take both points.
The Stars remain at the bottom of the Elite League table but with games in hand on the teams above and only five points separating them from the playoff spots, things can still turnaround and next weekend their only game is at home to Manchester Storm, which now seems like a must-win.
Man of the Match
Dundee: #18 Ian Parker
Cardiff: #17 Mark Richardson
0-1 Cole Sanford (Trevor Cox, Marcus Crawford) 14:44
0-2 Stefan Fournier (Joshua Brittain) 21:10
1-2 Craig Garrigan (Ian Parker, Toms Rutkis) 21:32
2-2 Philippe Sanche (Elijiah Barriga, Drydn Dow) 30:48 PPG
2-3 Cole Sandford (Marcus Crawford) 31:17
3-3 Ian Parker (Drydn Dow, Philippe Sanche) 37:02 PPG
3-4 Cole Sanford (Trevor Cox) 44:36
3-5 Joey Martin (Trevor Cox, Mark Richardson) 50:14
4-5 Carter Folk (Erik Näslund, Ryan Verrier) 59:32
All images: Derek Black.