TRADE-MART DUNDEE STARS 1 CARDIFF DEVILS 4
The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars were looking to bounce back from defeat with a home win over Cardiff Devils on Sunday evening, with the South Wales club also suffering a loss the day before.
By Kris Smith
The Stars regained two-way forward, Ben Brown for the game but were still without Jonathan McBean and the injured, Romans Semjonovs, whilst Hugo Reinhardt escaped punishment after being ejected for boarding in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Manchester Storm.
Cardiff were also hungry to avoid a pointless weekend as they look to strengthen their position in the Elite League title fight and they came out swinging, as an aggressive start quickly paid off.
The Devils were going in hard on every hit and playing with strong sticks to break up Dundee’s transition play and after just two minutes of play, Justin Crandall picked out Josh Batch with a cross-ice pass and the British defender buried his shot into the top corner of Anton Svensson’s goal.
The Stars responded with urgency and looked for a quick equaliser but they were unable to create many openings due to Cardiff’s physical gameplan, but when they did find the gaps, goaltender, Ben Bowns was there to protect the lead.
Swedish forward, Johan Eriksson had provided Dundee’s two best chances in the opening period as he came close with a late move to the back post and with a shot through traffic, but neither would slip past Bowns.
After one period, Brodie DuPont’s men were still leading by one goal and had failed to utilise the only powerplay of the game so far, but in the second session, the Welsh club grasped full control of the tie and began to suffocate the Stars.
The home side were able to sustain the long periods of pressure and being held to long shifts on the ice but not long after they broke through and got down the other end, Cardiff would finally double their lead.
Joey Martin got himself in front of the Stars net and was able to deflect Trevor Cox’s shot past Svensson on 32 minutes, but that would be when the game started to turn in the Tayside team’s favour as a few penalties finally gave Dundee the opportunities they needed to close in on goal.
Eventually, Jeff Mason’s men would get the break through as their hard work on the powerplay paid off and Ryan Verrier turned home the rebound of Carter Folk’s blocked effort, at the back post, making it a one-goal game in the 39th minute.
The Devils began the third period with a little bit of time left on a man advantage after the Stars took a late penalty but Dundee would start with two strong penalty kills, however when they got caught with too-many men on the ice in the 49th minute, that proved to be the costly mistake.
Brodie Reid was on hand on to fire home Cardiff’s third goal and that put them in the driving seat for the remainder of the match and Dundee would be unable to claw their way back from the two-goal deficit.
In the final minutes, the Stars went all out and pulled Svensson for the extra attacker before the scoring would be completed when Eriksson’s miss-placed pass would go all the way down the ice and into his own net, resulting in netminder, Bowns being credited with the goal as the last Devil to touch the puck.
The Stars must regroup this week and get back on track if they want to exact their revenge against Manchester Storm on Saturday night at home, before heading on the road to play Nottingham Panthers, on Sunday.
Man of the Match:
Dundee: #3 Ryan Verrier
Cardiff: #33 Ben Bowns
0-1 Josh Batch (Justin Crandall, Jake Coughler) 02:19
0-2 Joey Martin (Trevor Cox, Marcus Crawford) 31:40
1-2 Ryan Verrier (Carter Folk, Ian Parker) 38:30 PPG
1-3 Brodie Reid (Unassisted) 48:45 PPG
1-4 Ben Bowns (Unassisted) 58:00 ENG
All images: Derek Black.