TRADE-MART DUNDEE STARS 2 GUILDFORD FLAMES 5
The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars began their biggest weekend of the season with the visit of Guildford Flames to the DIA on Saturday night as they kicked-off a double header of home games that would decide the outcome of their season.
By Kris Smith
The Stars once again began the weekend with Welsh goaltender, Brython Preece coming back in between the pipes but they were short a few of their usual bodies as Ben Brown, Jonathan McBean and Romans Semjonovs were all absent from the line-up.
Both teams were quick out of the traps as they swiftly setup their fast break systems that aimed to get in behind their oppositions defences quickly and create odd man rushes and that created a lot of early work for both netminders.
Preece had done well to deny a number of shots from Guildford, who were unlucky not to get on the end of some rebounds that would create very dangerous second chances and at the other end, Taz Burman puck-tracking skills were being tested as he had to try and stop a lot of shots that were coming through traffic.
Although, both goalies would not stay unbeaten for long as in the 13th minute, Logan Fredericks found a clear route through to the Dundee goal before lifting his shot over the shoulder of Preece to put the visitors 1-0 in front.
Dundee were then handed a chance to get back in the game immediately as Guildford’s Kyle Locke was punished for a hooking foul, but the Tayside team would cut their own powerplay short as they were caught with too-many men on the ice.
Neither side would be able to capitalise whilst on the man advantage but Dundonian forward, Craig Garrigan came very close to tying the score when the teams were four-on-four as he took control of a loose rebound in front of goal, although his effort came off the post.
In the second period, former Flame, Johan Eriksson then drew the Stars level after exactly one minute of play, as Ben Sokay won possession from the face-off before the Swede quickly turned and fired into the roof of Taz Burman’s net.
There was then a couple of more chances for Jeff Mason’s men on the powerplay and whilst they did create a lot of dangerous scoring opportunities, the game was still tied when Guildford returned to full strength.
However, the Flames were also creating some good chances for themselves with a few long-range passes sending players through on breakaways and in the 30th minute, Ryan Tait picked out Daniel Tedesco with a pass right down center ice but as he lined-up his shot, the recovering Stars captain, Drydn Dow dove to the ice and smacked the puck off Tedesco’s stick.
Although, he cleared out the Guildford forward in the process of making his clearance and was penalised with a minor tripping penalty, which the Stars would go on to kill off.
The atmosphere then intensified late in the second session as both sides got a bit physical with one another and that eventually led to a goal as Dundee’s Phillipe Sanche and Flames forward, Sam Marklund came together and after a few swipes at each other, Marklund would rip off Sanche’s helmet before checking him into the back of the Dundee net.
Marklund was about to be called for a roughing penalty when at the other end of the ice, the Stars had kept the game going and Elijiah Barriga rounded the Guildford net before picking out an unmarked Dow, who buried his shot into the top corner of the Flames goal, putting the home side 2-1 up with four minutes left in the period.
However, Paul Dixon’s men quickly came back to tie the game, just two minutes later as Peter Crinella blasted a cross-ice pass into the bottom corner, past the stretching Preece.
The Flames then grabbed another goal to take a 3-2 lead into the final intermission as Tedesco saw his first effort saved by the Welsh keeper, but he was then the first to find the puck that had rebounded into the feet of several players and smacked it underneath the scrambling Preece on 37 minutes.
In the third period, the Surrey side came out looking for another goal to protect their lead but also began to start shutting the game down by keeping the clock running for as long as possible.
After a few more successful penalty kills from each team, the final few minutes were action packed as the Stars made two goal line clearances to keep themselves just one-goal behind, but in the 58th minute, Crinella would add his second of the night to make it 4-2 as he beat Preece on his near post whilst cutting across the Dundee goal.
Although, the Stars came straight back at the Flames looking to get something quick and keep the pressure on, as Sanche found himself through on goal but his shot would strike the goalpost.
Mason then pulled Preece to aid their last-minute attack but Crinella would then complete his hat-trick as he intercepted Cole Fraser’s attempted clearance and fire into an empty net.
The Stars had kept it close all night until the very end but will be disappointed to have not been stronger with their lead and that leaves them with it all to do again on Sunday as they face Nottingham Panthers on home ice.
Dundee: #6 Drydn Dow
Guildford: #1 Taz Burman
0-1 Logan Fredericks (Jordan Klimek) 12:54
1-1 Johan Eriksson (Ben Sokay, Carter Folk) 21:00
2-1 Drydn Dow (Elijiah Barriga, Hugo Reinhardt) 35:42
2-2 Peter Crinella (Bradley Lalonde, Logan Fredericks) 36:38
2-3 Daniel Tedesco (Brett Ferguson, Ben O’Connor) 37:46
2-4 Peter Crinella (Brett Ferguson) 57:26
2-5 Peter Crinella (Unassisted) 58:06 ENG
All images: Derek Black.