The Kitmart Dundee Stars are out to make it a four point weekend against the Sheffield Steelers tonight, after they came back to stun the English side on the road yesterday.

By Kris Smith

Last night, the Stars usual starting goaltender, Adam Morrison was ruled out through injury, they were forced to start Brython Preece for the first time this season and it also meant a first call-up to the Elite League for Scottish youngster, Cameron Paton.

However, the Welshman got the best start he could have asked from his teammates as Dundee soared into a 2-0 lead after less than two minutes of play.

After just 56 seconds of play, the Stars leading point scorer, Charlie Combs had the puck in the back of the net, after he turned home the pass from Philippe Sanche.

Then, just 51 seconds later, Connor Sills controlled a loose puck and fired a shot into the top corner of Barry Brust’s net to put the Scottish side two goals to the good.

Although, the home side would respond by getting off the mark on six minutes via Matias Sointu.

The Tayside team were still leading by one after the first period but Aaron Fox’s men then came out with a desire to test Dundee more in the second session and their early efforts soon paid off as Evan Mosey netted the equaliser on 26 minutes.

Despite that blow, the Stars responded in less than two minutes to regain the lead and they did so through Gabriel Desjardins, who got on the scoresheet for the second game in a row.

The Canadian winger drove towards goal and got a very late touch on the pass from Combs to deflect it over the pads of Stojanovic.

Just as Dundee looked to be holding a one-goal lead heading into the break again, a pair of tripping penalties against Timi Lahtinen and Kalvis Ozols put the Stars down to three skaters.

Robert Dowd then cashed in twice to send the Steelers ahead for the first time on the night.

The third period would have less goals but still saw both teams battle hard to get the crucial next goal and it would not come until the 57th minute.

With just over three minutes left on the clock, Sills secured his brace and a point for the Stars by moving straight towards goal after winning the face-off and sending a quick shot in off the underside of the crossbar.

Overtime was then tightly contested by the two teams but still no winner was found and Dundee faced a final second blitz from the Steelers offence, but a heroic block by defenseman, Kyle Haas ensured the game would go on to a shootout.

In the first round of penalties, both Sills and Sheffield’s John Armstrong were denied by the goalies, but then Sanche broke the deadlock to put Dundee ahead.

Sebastian Bengtsson and Polak both then found the net to turn up the intensity, but the next two shooters would then be denied as Combs and Sointu failed to produce.

Then stepped up Dillon Lawrence and the Canadian buried his effort past Stojanovic to seal the win for the Stars.

Omar Pacha’s men now have a chance to take a full four points from the Steelers as they host the same side again tomorrow in Dundee.

With both sides now even hungrier to make a point in Dundee this evening, it will be another close battle as each team battles injury problems.

Stars Head Coach, Omar Pacha has already confirmed that Preece will start again tonight against the Steelers and has showed continued faith in the young Welshman.

Speaking after his maiden Elite League win, Preece said: I am feeling good after that game.

“Right from the start we set the tempo and took our chances and we will look to build on tonight’s performance tomorrow at home and over the next weeks.”

Dundee forward, Philippe Sanche was also on the scoresheet on Saturday night, as he made a key play to assist on the Stars first goal of the night.

Reflecting on their performance, Sanche said: “We are really happy with that!

“Obviously it was a massive two points and we need to bring that same energy back to the DIA!

“It is such a massive result for us.

“Playing the first team in the standings on the road and coming back with two points is huge.

“We came out really good and played a good solid game and will have to do the same tomorrow to get another good result.

“We have talked a lot about consistency and playing our game for 60 minutes, so it will take another huge 60 of playing fast and moving our feet to create some more chances.”

Face-off for tonight’s home game against the Steelers is at 5pm.

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
54 Games
22 Wins
25 Losses
7 OT Losses
51 Points