TRADE-MART DUNDEE STARS 3 COVENTRY BLAZE 6
The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars needed to collect their second win against Coventry Blaze in as many nights to further boost their chances of qualifying for the playoffs.
By Kris Smith
The Stars had taken a 5-3 win in Coventry just 24 hours before and had to win on home ice this evening to start generating some momentum behind their playoff push.
After giving up four goals yesterday in the West Midlands, the Blaze decided to start Paavo Holsa instead of Miklos Rajna, who dropped the bench but they kept the same line-up of skaters.
Meanwhile the Stars stuck with Svensson in net and welcomed back forwards, Jonathan McBean and Ben Brown as they returned from two-way duties, although Kris Inglis and Romans Semjonovs remained out through injury.
After showing how quickly they can score last night, it took only one minute before Carter Folk found himself on a breakaway and bearing down on the Blaze goal, but Holsa made sure he got down and extended his legs right out to prevent the Canadian’s shot slipping in between his feet and the post.
However, the visitors twice provided quick replies to the Stars goals last night and showed Dundee just how clinical they can be as Peyton Frantti put them ahead in just the third minute.
After Svensson made the original save, the puck rebounded out behind the net where Frantti quickly collected and circled round to the opposite post, firing his shot into the net via the skate of Dundee’s Johan Eriksson.
Although, Jeff Mason’s men did not look like they would be behind for long as they had a number of chances, the best of which came as a dumped puck skipped past Holsa as he tried to trap it behind his net.
The puck found its way round to Elijiah Barriga and he quickly sent a pass to the front of goal for Hugo Reinhardt to fire in on goal but Holsa recovered well and kept it out with a diving save.
Despite the efforts of the Finnish keeper, the Stars would draw level on 10 minutes as a high shot from Dundee defenseman, Erik Näslund was deflected down by Jonathan McBean and into the path of his teammate, Drydn Dow, who had a wide-open net to shoot in to.
Although, the visitors would respond in the 14th minute as J.D. Dudek did not waste his chance to restore Coventry’s lead when he recieved the puck in front of goal, quickly sending his shot into the rood of the net.
From the restart, the Tayside team showed no signs of being disheartened and would find another equaliser before the end of the first.
Stars blueliner, Cole Fraser became tangled with Coventry’s Marley Quince with an eventual delayed penalty being drawn against the Coventry man for holding Fraser’s stick, but that allowed Dundee to get an extra attacker on the ice.
The Stars worked the puck around well and after a quick few passes the puck arrived on the tape of Philippe Sanche’s stick and he flung the puck past Holsa, in the 19th minute.
In the second period, the back-and-forth action continued as the English side again got in front and their third goal was scored by Alex Forbes at the halfway mark of the game, with his long-range effort finding a way through traffic and into the Dundee goal.
Dundee would then hit back with a third equaliser as they capitalised on a two-on-one break, with Eriksson playing a late pass across goal for the on-rushing Carter Folk to smack under the sprawling Holsa, inside 31 minutes.
The home side could have finally had their first lead of the game when Barriga went straight forward from the face-off but he would again be denied by Holsa and just moments later, the match then took a controversial turn as a hard hit in the Coventry end went unpunished by the officials, despite the appeals from the Dundee players and fans.
However, as play continued down the other end of the ice, the Blaze had a three-on-two advantage and Tyler Kirkup turned home a fourth goal for the visitors on 32 minutes.
The Stars defiance and resilience finally looked like it had taken a hit as they spent most of the remaining time in the second period fending off more attacks and the Blaze would cash in on their heavy pressure with a fifth goal in the 39th minute, to make it 5-3.
After a series of saves from Svensson and blocks from the Dundee defence, the puck rebounded out Johnny Curran who waited for an opening before firing straight into the net and giving the English club a two-goal cushion heading into the third.
There would be just one goal in the third period as the Blaze were quick to extend their advantage to 6-3 on 54 minutes, as Mitch Cook pulled off a good finish to fire his shot in off the underside of the crossbar, whilst falling over.
The Stars would then be frustrated by their opponents for the rest of the game and the buzzer brought an end to a difficult night, but it is another quick turnaround for Dundee as they head to Nottingham Panthers on Wednesday night.
Man of the Match
Dundee: #6 Drydn Dow
Coventry: #18 Mitch Cook
0-1 Peyton Frantti (Brady Norrish) 02:46
1-1 Drydn Dow (Jonathan McBean, Erik Näslund) 10:16
1-2 J.D. Dudek (Mitch Cook, Nathan Ripley) 13:17
2-2 Philippe Sanche (Hugo Reinhardt, Elijiah Barriga) 18:53 EA
2-3 Alex Forbes (Jack Billings) 28:54
3-3 Carter Folk (Johan Eriksson, Drydn Dow) 30:16
3-4 Tyler Kirkup (Nathanael Halbert, Mitch Cook) 32:39
3-5 Johnny Curran (Kim Tallberg, Marley Quince) 38:37
3-6 Mitch Cook (Marley Quince, Ross Venus) 43:55
All images: Derek Black.