By Kris Smith
The Stars welcome the current Elite League leaders to the DIA for a second time in as many weeks and they will be hungry to get one over on the Yorkshire club after losing out 6-4 in the last meeting.
The Steelers had stormed into a 4-0 lead before Dundee finally began to cut into it in the third period with Spencer Naas, Tommy Parrottino, Ryan Valentini and Brendan Harms all finding a way past Matt Greenfield.
However, goals from Cole Shudra (2), Patrick Watling, Brett Neumann, Colton Saucerman and Mitchell Balmas ensured Aaron Fox’s men went home with the two points after the Stars ran them close to forcing overtime.
Last night, the Steelers were 7-4 winners at home to Fife Flyers and the Kirkcaldy club had kept pace with Sheffield for most of the night before they eventually fell off in the third period.
Saucerman, Dominic Cormier, Robert Dowd, Daniel Ciampini, Neumann, Brandon Whistle and Mark Simpson provided their goals, while Greenfield backstopped them to the win with 16 saves on the Flyers 20 shots.
Meanwhile, the Stars were in South Wales and took the lead in the first three minutes against Cardiff Devils as James Phelan tipped Anthony Rinaldi’s shot past Tyler Wall.
Although, the Devils hit back with three goals in one minute with Joshua Waller converting on a breakaway, Justin Crandall tapping in a rebound at the back post and then Cole Sanford turning the puck past Kevin Carr after he made the initial save.
Brandon Alderson then added a fourth goal for the home team in the second period to make it 4-1, as he smacked home a one-timer after the Devils forced a turnover in the Stars end on 30 minutes.
River Rymsha’s long-range effort then found its way past Carr in the 52nd minute to make it 5-1 and it seemed the contest was over, but Dundee produced three goals of their own in just over a minute to make it a one-goal game with over two minutes left on the clock.
Stars Captain, Drydn Dow would find the back of the net on the powerplay as he shot high from just inside the blueline and then 30 seconds later, Kyle Pouncy would intercept a pass and send the puck back towards goal, where he picked out the top left corner.
Then 45 seconds after the restart, Naas batted the puck out of mid-air and through Wall to make it 5-4 and in the final seconds of the game, Jake Elmer would be denied the game-tying -goal after his shot pinged off the crossbar.
There was a heated end to the match as Cardiff’s Josh Batch started a few scuffles and players soon came together but nothing else would arise from that altercation.
However, tonight Dundee will be without blueliner, Chris McKay as he picked up a two-game suspension for cross-checking on an earlier play in last night’s game.
Speaking after the match, Stars Head Coach, Marc LeFebvre said: “I thought for the first five or six minutes and the last eight or nine that we were the better team but against a team like that, you cannot not play for 40-45 minutes.
“They controlled the pace of the play, they dictated everything for long stretches of that game and they just hemmed us in our zone and we just could not counteract it until the last little bit.
“You cannot spot any team in this league a three or four goal lead and expect to come back every time, you have to play for a full 60 minutes.
“You cannot just switch it on and switch it off, every night in this league is a dogfight and if you look at the standings right now, every point matters and we need to get some points right now.”
Then addressing tonight’s clash with Sheffield, he continued: “They are the best team in the league and they are in first place for a reason but it does not matter who we are playing, every game starts 0-0.
“We know what to expect now we have seen them a couple times and we have to be ready for them,”
Face-off is at 5pm for tonight’s home game, get your tickets HERE!
All images: Derek Black.