The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars were beaten 4-1 by Coventry Blaze on Sunday night as they were edged out by a few late goals in a crucial playoff battle at home.

By Kris Smith

The Stars were down four players for their final match against the Blaze in the regular season as goaltender Kevin Carr, defenseman Xavier Pouliot and forwards, Tommy Parrottino and Craig Garrigan all missed out through injury or sickness.

However, despite their short-bench, Dundee created the better chances through the opening 20 minutes as they worked netminder, Taran Kozun hard with testing efforts from all across the ice.

However, Lucas Brine in the Stars net also had to be in good form to keep the Blaze off the scoreboard and both goalies did their jobs well as the game remained locked at 0-0 heading to the second period.

The home team had nearly taken the lead inside the final minute of the first whilst on the powerplay, but Carter Johnson’s goal was ruled out after it was determined he kicked the puck across the line.

In the second session, the Blaze quickly capitalised on early pressure and converted it for a lead, in the 22nd minute as Alessio Luciani beat Brine with a wrist shot from the left circle.

That was not enough to knock the Stars off their game though as they continued to hound the Coventry goal with shots and would soon find their breakthrough after Dundonian forward, Jonathan McBean caught James Phelan’s pass in his skates and he then played it out to Carter Johnson on the right.



The Canadian center then rifled a shot straight into the far side top of Kozun’s net to level the score again on 30 minutes and the Taysiders were buzzing again.

In what had been a hard-hitting and physical battle so far, the tensions then came to a boiling point as Dundee’s Ryan Valentini was hit behind the play and after no call came for the foul, his protests landed him a two-minute penalty for misconduct.

Although, Dundee would not just lose Valentini as defender, Elijah Vilio was also called for slashing on the play and that put Marc LeFebvre’s men down to three skaters for a full two minutes, yet the Blaze only needed 20 seconds to convert on the powerplay.

Brine would make the first save but the rebound popped out to the right and onto the stick of the waiting Kobe Roth and he tapped home to put Danny Stewart’s men back in front, after 37 minutes.

Some scuffles continued throughout the rest of the middle of the period and into the third session with more big hits being laid, but the hardest would be laid by Chris McKay as his thunderous collision with Ian McNulty into the boards earned him a five-minute major penalty and some stiches for McNulty.

The Blaze would be unable to convert on their long man advantage but Kim Tallberg did manage to bat in a third goal after Brine made the initial stop and that extended Coventry’s lead to 3-1, after 53 minutes.

With less than three minutes to play, LeFebvre called a timeout and pulled Brine for the extra attacker but that allowed the Blaze to finish off the match as Roth netted his second of the night into the empty-net.

The Stars lost their only chance to win some points this weekend but are still holding the eighth and final playoff spot, with a visit from Nottingham Panthers up next on Friday.



Man of the Match

Dundee: #44 Lucas Brine

Coventry: #11 Kobe Roth






0-1 Alessio Luciani (Johnny Curran, Carter Allen) 21:36

1-1 Carter Johnson (Jonathan McBean, James Phelan) 30:06

1-2 Kobe Roth (Unassisted) 37:12 PPG



1-3 Kim Tallberg (Carter Allen) 53:29

1-4 Kobe Roth (Danny Kristo, Ian McNulty) 57:16 ENG


All images: Derek Black.

Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
54 Games
22 Wins
25 Losses
7 OT Losses
51 Points