The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars battled for their lives and created lots of chances but ultimately were unable to defeat the Cardiff Devils, as they lost 3-2 at home on Sunday and 7-4 on aggregate.

By Kris Smith

The Stars kept the same line-up from the first leg in Cardiff on Saturday whilst the Devils removed Cole Sanford from their roster after warm-ups and moved Brandon Alderson onto their top line.

It was a fast-paced and very open start to the match as both teams tried to quickly find a crucial goal and the first of the game came after only three minutes of play, as Ryan Valentini’s excellent hold-up play allowed Spencer Naas to sneak in at the back post and get Dundee off to the perfect start.

With only one goal separating the teams on aggregate, Dundee were buzzing around the ice and were so close to finding the equaliser in the opening minutes, but they would be stung by a Cardiff goal in the seventh minute.

A pile of bodies in front of the Dundee net unsighted Lucas Brine and allowed Jamie Arniel’s effort to hit someone in front and drop behind the Stars goalie, making it 1-1 on the night and 5-3 to Cardiff on aggregate.



Pete Russell’s side then took the game’s first penalty with only five seconds left in the first period as Devils defenseman, Cody Donaghey was boxed for cross-checking.

The Stars powerplay spanned into the second session but despite causing the visitors a lot of distress they were unable to find a second goal and the two teams battled it out for the next 20 minutes with no goals coming until the final minute of the period.

With Dundee’s forwards caught on a line change, Cardiff capitalised and outnumbered the Stars as they moved in on goal with Justin Crandall turning home Bode Wilde’s cross-goal pass to give the Welsh outfit a three-goal cushion in the tie.

There had been a lot more intensity between the players as things got chippy one the ice and Dundee blueliner, Xavier Pouliot was quick to come after Cole Ully when he went for Brendan Harms.

Pouliot and Ully would tussle into the boards before the Canadian dropped the Devils forward with one punch, earning him an extra two minutes on top of his five for fighting.

Ully would be back in the box after the Devils scored their second, as he cross-checked Kyle Pouncy from behind and into the boards and the Stars once again started the next period on the powerplay.



Marc LeFebvre’s men continued to be kept out by Bowns who repelled shot after shot, eventually totalling 50 saves on the night and the Devils all but secured their place in the Semi-Finals with a shorthanded goal, as Arniel beat Brine again with a low effort between the legs.

The Stars did not give up however and got one back late in the third, finally scoring on a powerplay as Drydn Dow’s effort flew past Bowns to make it 3-2 on the night, inside 59 minutes.

The final buzzer sounded to draw the Stars season to a close and although the disappointment of a Quarter-Final defeat, it marks progress from last year as the team moved up and down the Elite League table all-season and even touched the top at one point.

Head Coach LeFebvre told of his pride in his players performance this season and said he will get right back to work on building a team that will bring a championship to Dundee.



Man of the Match

Dundee: #6 Drydn Dow

Cardiff: #33 Ben Bowns




1-0 Spencer Naas (Ryan Valentini, Brendan Harms) 03:11

1-1 Jamie Arniel (Justin Crandall) 06:09



1-2 Justin Crandall (Bode Wilde, Jamie Arniel) 39:21



1-3 Jamie Arniel (Ryan Barrow) 41:27 SHG

2-3 Drydn Dow (Spencer Naas, Ryan Valentini) 58:14 PPG


All images: Derek Black.

Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
OT Losses