By Kris Smith
Dundee faced a strong Sheffield side, who were in need of a win after suffering a shootout loss to their biggest rivals. Meanwhile the Stars needed some points to lift them off the foot of the league table.
After last night’s shootout defeat, Dundee had to pull off an upset, whilst short benched, as Jordan Cownie, Chris Lawrence, Anthony Mastrodicasa and Justin Fox all did not ice this weekend.
Dundee opened the game with some good opportunities but none found the net. Sheffield had an early powerplay chance when Emerson Hrynyk was penalised for tripping at 3:38. Robert Dowd rattled a one-timer off the post but the puck would come back to the point and a well worked move from the Steelers found Jamtin, who shot past Travis Fullerton at 5:15.
The Stars were flinging shots on Mustukovs but he was equal to all of them, at the other end Tim Wallace fired a shot just over the bar before play goes back into the Sheffield end, where Jimmy Jensen received a pass on the edge of the crease but he couldn’t connect with it.
The Steelers got a second powerplay as Johan Andersson sat for two minutes on a tripping call, it would carry over by 40 seconds into the second period. Malcolm Gould had a good shorthanded chance but it was sent wife by the edge of Mustukovs blocker and in the other goal, Fullerton dived to put a glove over a loose puck before it fell to the wrong stick.
Dundee started the second period by killing their penalty but a quick move by the Steelers leads to a pass in front for Andreas Valdix who fired high towards the top right corner but Fullerton seemed to get a piece of it and flew across the face of goal but Valdix followed up his own rebound and slid it home at 21:25.
The Stars got their first man advantage as Zack Fitzgerald was called on an interference penalty at 23:14. The penalty was killed by the Steelers but a quick break by the Stars leads to Tyler Brickler’s effort hitting the post and the rebound is lost under the Steelers goalie.
Sheffield extended their lead to 3-0 when Levi Nelson connected with a moving shot to force it past Fullerton at 28:35 and it was a powerplay goal as Taylor Dickin sat for a hooking infraction. However Dundee quickly cut the deficit back as they went on the powerplay when referee Pavel Halas charged Ben O’Connor with a minor penalty for Charging. Joey De Concilys was found at the backdoor and rifled a shot into the net at 33:25.
The second period ended with a few feisty moments but nothing came of it, Omar Pacha’s Stars were not out of the game, as they kept making it difficult for Paul Thompson’s Steelers.
Johan Andersson was missing from the bench in the third period as he picked up a knock over the weekend and could not continue to play. An early breakaway for Brian Hart gave him a spectacular home debut goal as he pulled the puck to his backhand and slid it through the five hole of Mustukovs at 41:06.
Sheffield slowly regained control of the game and a rocket of a slapshot from Dowd couldn’t be stopped by the Stars goalie, making it 4-1 to the road team at 50:23. Cam McGiffin was down on the ice after a play and looked in a lot of pain with an upper body injury.
A quick shot by Liam Kirk slips off the toe of Fullerton’s pad and into the net, despite a lengthy review the goal was given at 53:59. Following that Dundee went straight onto the powerplay as O’Connor was called for hooking just 17 seconds later. Jensen rattled the post before Marc-Olivier Mimar whacked the puck wide of the open goal and a third Star couldn’t get a touch on the loose puck. Sheffield closed out the final minutes to secure the 5-2 score line and the two points. Robert Dowd and Brian Hart were chosen as the ‘Man of the Match’ award winners.
A tough night for Dundee as the injury count climbed, Omar Pacha commented on the teams injury list: “We were heading in a positive direction over the course of the weekend, it started yesterday when guys started to pick up more serious injuries. Today was very difficult to operate with many guys hurt and we will re-assess a few things now over the course of the next few days.”
A double header with the Coventry Blaze is next for the Stars as they meet Danny Stewart’s side in England on Saturday and return home for the second match on Sunday.
FINAL: Dundee Stars 2-5 Sheffield Steelers