By Kris Smith
The two teams meet again tonight in Dundee after a last night’s league contest in Altrincham, where the Storm edged out the Stars for a 4-2 win on home ice.
The game would be level throughout the first two periods after Jonathan McBean tipped Drydn Dow’s shot past Evan Weninger after five minutes, but Dallas Ehrhardt would tie the game up on 18 minutes, as his shot found the top corner of Kevin Carr’s net.
Marc LeFebvre’s men could have gone into the first break with the lead after Tommy Parrottino was awarded a penalty shot after he was slashed by C.J. Garcia as he went through on goal but he would be denied by Weninger.
In the second period, the home team took the lead through Stephen Johnson as he batted in the rebound from Zach Sullivan’s saved effort in the 32nd minute but just one minute later, Anthony Rinaldi made it an even game.
With the puck being dumped into the Manchester end, Parrottino would take the puck from behind the goal line and send it out in front of the net for the on-rushing Rinaldi to turn past the Storm keeper and make it 2-2.
The Stars again came close to taking the lead before the break as with less than a minute to play in the second stanza, Rinaldi found the back of the net again but the goal would be disallowed for goaltender interference and no video review would take place.
With only 20-minutes left in regulation, the next goal would be critical and in the 49th minute, Andreas Heier would smack a one-timer past Carr from between the face-off circles to give Manchester the lead.
Dundee pushed for another equaliser and forced Weninger into a number of good saves but Johnson would wrap up the two points for the Storm with a shorthanded goal, as he and Will Merchant forced a turnover on the blueliner and broke down the ice, with Johnson finishing the chance at the back post.
The Stars iced a full line-up for the first time in a competitive game this season as Ryan Valentini and Jake Elmer both returned to action last night.
Reflecting on the loss in Manchester, Stars Head Coach, LeFebvre said: “I thought it was a pretty evenly matched game for the first two periods then they just had more urgency than us in the third period, which has been the story of our season so far.
“We played for about 40 minutes then in the last 20, we just do not seem to have that gear right now, so we need to turn that around quickly.
“It is just about staying focused for 60 minutes and not making mental mistakes, we made a lot of mistakes in the third and they capitalised on that tonight.”
“If you are going to have six powerplays in the game then you need to execute on those because one powerplay goal makes a huge difference and we did not get that tonight, however we did a great job on the penalty kill.”
Face-off for tonight’s home game is at 5pm, buy your tickets HERE!
All images: Storm Images.