TRADE-MART DUNDEE STATS 2 CARDIFF DEVILS 4
The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars battled all night but were just edged out in six-goal thriller as they went down 4-2 to Cardiff Devils in Dundee.
By Kris Smith
The Stars gained two players back into their line-up as defenseman, Sean Allen and forward, James Phelan came back into the fold after missing the last match through injury, but Kris Inglis was still unavailable.
Meanwhile, the Devils were missing Joey Martin and the suspended, Chad Pietroniro but handed Ben Bowns a second start against the Stars after his winning performance on their last visit to Scotland.
Dundee were quickly put under pressure by the visitors in the opening minutes as the Devils swarmed the net, looking for an early goal.
However, Kevin Carr and the Stars defence stood firm to keep them out and soon began to create a few breaks, but their flow would then be interrupted when the first penalty of the game was called against Carter Johnston for a hook and that put Cardiff onto the powerplay.
Despite the man advantage, it would be the Devils who conceded as Dundee’s Spencer Naas created a turnover in his own end and broke down the ice, where he then dropped the puck back for Brendan Harms to shoot on net.
Although the Canadian would send the puck back to Naas and he fired it underneath Bowns, to open the scoring on nine minutes and also begin the Teddy Toss – ice hockey’s annual Christmas tradition.
Marc LeFebvre’s men were soon shorthanded again but continued to deny the Welsh club’s efforts and took their 1-0 lead into the first break, but the second period would produce a lot more goals as the two sides went back and forth.
The Devils struck quickly by going straight on the attack and they equalised just 10 seconds into the period as Brandon Alderson drove towards the Dundee net from out wide, before flipping the puck up past Carr.
Four minutes later, Justin Crandall fired Cardiff in front after he was left unmarked at the back post and c0nnected with Jamie Arniel’s pass on the one-timer.
Naas would then tie the game up on 27 minutes, as he was the right place to lap up the rebound from Brendan Harms’ saved effort and the American skated around Ben Bowns, before tucking in his second of the night.
Pete Russell’s men then came under heavy fire from Dundee as they pushed to regain the lead but just could not find the final touch to get it past Bowns again.
Then in the 37th minute, the Devils capitalised again as Cole Sanford batted away at a loose puck in front of Carr, eventually connecting with one swing and the puck snuck through the Dundee keeper to make it 3-2.
In the third period, the style of play changed as both teams battled hard for every inch and every puck with the next goal being crucial in deciding the result.
However, neither side would be able to break each other down again until the final minutes, when Dundee had emptied their net for an extra attacker.
Inside the final 64 seconds of the game, Crandall would score into the empty net to secure the win for Cardiff but the goal stemmed from a play where the Stars were left appealing for a foul after Drydn Dow had his feet taken out by Alderson.
However, no call came and that led to a loud uproar from the Dundee bench and fanbase, then Head Coach, LeFebvre would be ejected for his reaction to the missed call.
Man of the Match
Dundee: #8 Spencer Naas
Cardiff: #77 Cole Ully
1-0 Spencer Naas (Brendan Harms, Sean Allen) 09:15 SHG
1-1 Brandon Alderson (Justin Crandall, Evan Mosey) 20:10
1-2 Justin Crandall (Jamie Arniel, Evan Mosey) 24:50
2-2 Spencer Naas (Brendan Harms, Ryan Valentini) 27:01
2-3 Cole Sanford (Cole Ully) 36:14
2-4 Justin Crandall (Brandon Alderson) 58:56 ENG
All images: Derek Black.