TRADE-MART DUNDEE STARS 4 MANCHESTER STORM 1
The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars moved up to second in the league table with a crucial 4-1 home win against Manchester Storm to extend their winning streak to five games in a row.
By Kris Smith
Dundonian defenseman, Kris Inglis continued to be the only missing player for the Stars as they iced an unchanged line-up from their last three games, in which they are unbeaten and the Storm were missing two skaters in imports, Johnny Corneil and Callum Fryer.
The tempo of the match was slow to start but the big crowd soon got the home team into it and they began to test Evan Weninger in the Manchester net but he did enough to keep Dundee out.
The Storm came close to opening the scoring on three minutes after an unusual and awkward bounce off the boards sent a rimmed puck out in front of the Dundee net, which was vacant as keeper, Kevin Carr had moved behind to stop the puck.
Luckily for the Stars, no Manchester player was there to pounce on their moment of luck and towards the end of the opening period, after long spells of pressure from Dundee, they nearly broke the deadlock as Josh Brittain watched his slapshot be denied by the crossbar.
However, just as the score looked to be in a stalemate after the first 20 minutes, Manchester struck against the run of play and Samuel Tremblay picked out the top corner of Carr’s goal with just 21 seconds left on the clock.
Dundee did not appear disheartened as they returned to the ice for the second session and instead pulled it right back to a 1-1 game, as they made a quick move down the ice and Ryan Valentini finished high over the shoulder of Weninger, just 31 seconds after the restart.
Manchester then ended up on the penalty kill moments later as captain, Dallas Ehrhardt was punished for a trip on Anthony Rinaldi and that allowed the Stars to move into the lead.
In the 25th minute, Spencer Naas would receive Valentini’s pass out in front and he quickly slung it towards goal, leaving the Storm goalie no time to react and Marc LeFebvre’s men kept the pressure on for the remainder of the middle period.
Despite having to kill off two penalties, the Taysiders were still creating the better of the chances and were unlucky to have only a one-goal lead going into the final break, but Carr had also produced some outstanding saves at the other end to keep the momentum in Dundee’s favour.
In the third period, the home team kept up their dominance but did face some much tougher fightback from Manchester and both keepers were doing their best to keep the pucks out.
Carr continued his brick wall form and his teammates would thank him for his efforts with another goal on 47 minutes to give Dundee a two-goal cushion.
This time it was Carr starting the attack as he corralled a loose puck and fired it up the ice to Jake Elmer, who was waiting on the Storm blueline, where he could then play Rinaldi through on goal and the Canadian slotted it low past Weninger to make it 3-1.
As the Altrincham side gambled for a late lifeline, Naas would force a turnover of possession before breaking down the ice and setting up James Phelan for an easy tap in to an empty net, after Matt Ginn removed his goalie for an extra attacker.
A crucial 4-1 victory for the Stars has extended their unbeaten run to five games in a row and moved them up to second place in the Elite League table, now they end their weekend with a trip to face Coventry Blaze on Saturday night a chance to claim the top spot.
Man of the Match
Dundee: #37 Kevin Carr
Manchester: #9 Tyler Hinam
0-1 Samuel Tremblay (Matt Murphy, Tyler Hinam) 19:39
1-1 Ryan Valeninti (Spencer Naas, Brendan Harms) 20:29
2-1 Spencer Naas (Ryan Valentini, Brent Beaudoin) 24:25 PPG
3-1 Anthony Rinaldi (Jake Elmer, Kevin Carr) 49:07
4-1 James Phelan (Spencer Naas, Brendan Harms) 59:31 ENG
All images: Derek Black.