DUNDEE STARS 5 ODENSE BULLDOGS 6
(STARS WIN SERIES 2-1 ON SO)
By Kris Smith
It took just 28 seconds for the Kitmart Dundee Stars to put the puck the net but referee Pavel Halas’s premature whistle meant Jagger Dirk’s opening goal would not count.
The defender had taken advantage of a spilled save by Odense netminder, Nicolai Kristiansen.
Two minutes later, Dirk again opened the scoring and this time his goal would stand as he rifled one in from the blueline.
The goal came about because of good play in the offensive zone by Anthony Beauregard, Duncan Speirs and Craig Garrigan.
Dundee were firing on all cylinders as they found the twine again on the four-minute-mark.
This time it was Drydn Dow’s shot from the blue line that was stopped by Kristiansen but Brett Stovin shot into a gaping goal for his third of the weekend.
Craig Garrigan was the first player to be penalised as a hooking call sent the Stars forward to the sinbin inside six minutes.
The Stars had taken their skate off the throat of the Bulldogs and were punished for their inability to clear their lines.
Christopher Kamph finally put the puck in the net after Alex Leclerc made one save and the rebound was blocked.
Dundee forward, Colton Kroeker headed off to the medical room after the goal and did not re-appear in the first period.
Omar Pacha’s men were already down a man but a too-many men call against the Danes levelled things out.
Inside the final minute of the first session, Dundee were working the puck around the Odense zone and with eight seconds left on the powerplay, Shawn Boutin sent a fast and rising shot towards goal.
Kevin Dufour was able to redirect the puck past Kristiansen to reinstate the Stars two goal advantage.
The Bulldogs were ready for a fight in the second period and Henry Hardarson quickly got them back within one goal as he turned in a smart backhanded pass from Riley Bourbonnais.
Dufour was on hand again to restore the Stars two-goal cushion as he cut across the crease and slipped the puck past Kristiansen on 24 minutes.
Pelle Svensson’s men were back to within one goal after Frederik Benjaminsen controlled a loose puck and fired it under Leclerc.
Brython Preece was given the nod by Pacha in the 29th minute to replace Leclerc and the 21-year-old was sent out to show what he can do.
It wasn’t the best start for Preece as Mikkel Jensen beat him on his glove side to tie the game after 31 minutes but the Welshman soon warmed up and pleased the crowd with an impressive double save.
With the score tied at 4-4, a thrilling third period was set up and it would be about the battle of the back-ups.
Yannick Vedel gave the visitors their first lead of the night after he beat Preece up high on his near post, inside 42 minutes.
Dufour completed his hat-trick in the 50th minute as he got the better of Kristiansen when he went through one-on-one.
Asger Petersen netted the winner with just two and a half minutes left on the clock.
He blasted a first-time effort past a sliding Preece to win the games for Odense.
However, the series would be decided by a friendly shootout.
Craig Gans was the first shooter and the only scorer as he gave Stars the 1-0 win.
Egils Kalns, Anthony Beauregard, Craig Garrigan and Elgin Pearce were Dundee’s four unsuccessful shooters whilst, Christopher Kamph, Frederik Benjaminsen, Henry Hardarson, Mikkel Jensen and Asger Petersen were all unable to beat Preece.
Man of the Match awards went to Odense’s Henry Hardarson and Dundee’s treble scorer, Kevin Dufour.
Omar Pacha now has a week to prepare his side for the first Elite League game as they travel to Glasgow to face the Clan in Challenge Cup action next Saturday.
Next up at Dundee Ice Arena is Glasgow Clan on 1/9/19 at 5.00pm buy tickets NOW!