By Kris Smith
The fifth place Devils were beaten 5-3 in Dundee, as Ben Sokay, Carter Folk and Barriga (3) all found ways past Ben Bowns, whilst Ryan Penny, Joshua Waller and Joey Martin were on target for Brodie DuPont’s side.
The Stars were playing without injured forwards, Ben Brown and Hugo Reinhardt last night as they lost 5-4 in overtime to Nottingham Panthers.
Luke Ferrara had fired the English side into the lead on four minutes but Dundee would draw level 11 minutes later through Ben Sokay after he rounded the keeper and tucked his shot in at the right post.
However, Nottingham would respond just 27 seconds later as former Stars captain, Fabrizio Ricci redirected Jack Hopkins shot past Anton Svensson, but again Corey Neilson side would let their narrow advantage slip.
With the Stars on a five-on-three powerplay, Romans Semjonovs used the extra space to drift wide at the right side of the net and blast home Philippe Sanche’s cross-goal pass, tying the game on 17 minutes.
In the second period, the Panthers again got in front as a blocked pass hit Stephen Anderson’s upper body and the forward quickly reacted to bat the puck out of mid-air and past Svensson, just two minutes in.
Although the Stars would not go away and just before the halfway-mark, Sanche got on the end a rebound and lifted his shot over Jack Berry and into the Nottingham goal.
The Tayside team would then get their first lead of the night in the 36th minute as Elijiah Barriga then tucked home another rebound at the back post, but the Stars were unable to stay 4-3 ahead before the end of the middle session.
Nottingham also had a five-on-three powerplay opportunity and Adam Brady quickly capitalised to tie the game with only 64 seconds left in the period.
A scoreless third period would send the game into overtime, where after chances for both sides, the game would be won on the 63-minute-mark, as J.C. Brassard smacked home a first-time effort from straight in front of goal to win it for Nottingham.
Meanwhile, the Devils were in Sheffield facing the Steelers and they fell behind nine minutes in as Brett Neumann put the Yorkshire side ahead, but Sam Duggan would make it a tie-game just three minutes later.
Brodie Reid then gave the Devils the lead on 22 minutes, before Robert Dowd equalised in the 47th minute, but Cole Sanford would net the winner for Cardiff on 54 minutes.
Discussing tonight’s game in Cardiff, Stars Head Coach, Jeff Mason said: “We can be happy that we had success against them earlier this year but it is harder to go into their building and repeat that.
“Obviously there is long travel, they play well and it is a tough building to play in but we know what we need to do to be successful, so it is a matter of doing that, focusing on and executing our gameplan and giving ourselves a chance to settle in and manage that game early on and then go from there.”
Dundee defenseman, Chris Lijdsman also shared what he believes will be the keys to claiming a second win over the Devils, adding: “The biggest thing for us is focusing on playing our game and what we can control, what we can bring to the table and making sure we are there for 60 minutes, because that is a good hockey team on the other side.
“If we are not dialled in for the whole 60 minutes then they will put a couple past you quickly and then you are playing uphill in a tough building.”
He continued: “It is just about making sure we stay strict to Jeff’s systems because we have a good system in place and it can be effective when everyone is buying in.
“So, like I said, it is all about that full 60-minute performance because if you take a shift or two off then they have the firepower to put a couple by you.”
Face-off for tonight’s game in Cardiff is at 6pm and there is a webcast available HERE!
All images: Derek Black.