The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars forced a nail-biting end to Saturday’s clash with Sheffield Steelers but a slow start ultimately cost them against the current Elite League leaders.

By Kris Smith

The Stars continued to play a man down of a full line-up as defence Kris Inglis was still on the sidelines with an upper-body injury and the Steelers were at full strength.

It would be a tough start for the home team as Sheffield took the lead in only the third minute as after a video review, it was determined Cole Shudra’s shot had crossed the line despite the best efforts of netminder, Kevin Carr.

After a deflection out in front the puck had bounced around off a few skates before falling perfectly for Shudra to get a backhanded shot off.

Aaron Fox’s men then doubled their lead in the ninth minute as Patrick Watling had his first two shots blocked before his third slipped its way through the legs of Carr and trickled across the goal line.

Dundee had began to generate a small bit of momentum and created some good opportunities as Ryan Valentini nearly skated his way through the entire Sheffield defence before sending his shot wide of goal and Anthony Rinaldi was unlucky not to score when his one-timer from out wide struck the iron pipes.

Sheffield then gave themselves some breathing room on 16 minutes as they punished Dundee for a defensive error and Brett Neumann’s first goal of the night came from a stray pass, after Craig Moore’s attempted switch was intercepted by Watling.



Watling then played the puck to Mikko Juusola who unselfishly set up Neumann to drill the puck home and that gave the Yorkshire club a big cushion heading into the second period.

A much different Stars side had to come out for the middle stanza but they were caught out early by some bad luck as Colton Saucerman’s blocked shot went skywards, looped over Carr and into the back of the net.

Dundee would out-shoot the Steelers in the second period but Matthew Greenfield was there to deny all 26 shots he faced through 40 minutes and the Stars would be feeling hard done by to be going into the third session, four goals down.

However, just 58 seconds after the restart, Dundee’ Spencer Naas would be fouled by Greenfield as he went in on goal and he was awarded a penalty shot, which he converted with a finish high over the left shoulder of the Steelers keeper.

With the Stars full of optimism and with plenty of time left on the clock, Sheffield pulled out a quick response to kill off any hopes the home side had of producing a stunning comeback.

After Carr denied Saucerman’s long-range effort, Robert Dowd made an unselfish play with the rebound, as he dragged the Dundee defence and keeper wide before feeding a pass to Mitchell Balmas for an easy tap in, just 17 seconds after they conceded.

Nine minutes later, the Taysiders found a second goal as Tommy Parrottino got on the end of Chris McKay’s pass to the back post and jammed the puck through the grasp of Greenfield.

Then 27 seconds later, Valentini made it a two-goal game as he took Brendan Harm’s pass from in close and skated the puck around the Sheffield goaltender before applying an easy finish.



The Steelers survived more waves of Stars attacks and soon restored their three-goal cushion as they forced a turnover in their own end and that allowed Mark Simpson to break into the Dundee zone, where he squared a pass to Shudra and the Englishman fired home his second of the night.

Inside the 58th minute, the first powerplay of the match went to Dundee after Sheffield’s Niklas Nevalainen was punished for a slashing foul and it took only 26 seconds for the Stars powerplay unit to score, as Harms turned Valentini’s pass up and past Greenfield with less than two-minutes remaining.

Marc LeFebvre went all out for another goal as he pulled his goaltender and called a timeout but the Steelers would hold to claim the 6-4 win and the two points, but the Stars have to pick themselves up and go again as they head south to Nottingham to face the Panthers on Sunday.



Man of the Match

Dundee: #8 Spencer Naas

Sheffield: #27 Cole Shudra




0-1 Cole Shudra (Brandon Whistle, Dominic Cormier) 02:42

0-2 Patrick Watling (Brett Neumann, Sam Jones) 08:54

0-3 Brett Neumann (Mikko Juusola, Patrick Watling) 16:09



0-4 Colton Saucerman (Robert Dowd, Mitchell Balmas) 21:55



1-4 Spencer Naas (Unassisted) 40:58 PS

1-5 Mithcell Balmas (Robert Dowd, Colton Saucerman) 41:15

2-5 Tommy Parrottino (Chris McKay, Carter Johnson) 50:53

3-5 Ryan Valentini (Brendan Harms, Josh Brittain) 51:20

3-6 Cole Shudra (Mark Simpson) 55:30

4-6 Brendan Harms (Ryan Valentini, Drydn Dow) 58:05 PPG


All images: Derek Black.

Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
OT Losses