By Kris Smith
The Dundee Stars suffered a 4-0 loss to the Cardiff Devils in last night’s Elite League match at the DIA.
Cardiff returned with two ex-Stars in their team, Craig Moore and Justin Faryna, this was the pairs first time back in Dundee, wearing opposition colours. The Devils opened the scoring sharply as Justin Faryna created an attack from the Devils defensive end, moving the play down ice, he received a quick pass in front of goal and slipped the puck into net past Travis Fullerton at 3:05.
Johan Andersson missed a vital chance to tie the game, as the puck bounced over his stick after a pass from his fellow Swede Jimmy Jensen. Cardiff had the majority of the possession and chances but gave it up when the Stars got their first powerplay of the night, eight minutes in.
The Welsh side killed the two minute penalty and found themselves with the man advantage after Malcolm Gould was penalised for Slashing in the twelfth minute. The Devils would make better use of the time than Dundee as a pass in front to Sean Bentivoglio was saved but the rebound fell to Matthew Myers who tapped it in at 11:50 .
Dundee had a few more chances but failed to find a way past Ben Bowns in the opening period, however Cardiff had no trouble beating Fullerton for a third goal. Patrick Asselin fired home a pass that came across the crease, forcing Fullerton to move from post-to-post, at 17:10.
Omar Pacha’s side could not get on the board before the first intermission and it was better start for Dundee in the second period as they put early pressure on the Devils.
They managed to get away plenty shots but Bowns was equal to all of them. Andrew Hotham returned to the penalty box as the Devil’s d-man sat for two minutes on another slashing call. The Dundee powerplay failed to produce once more but were gifted another chance as Hotham went straight back on a tripping infraction, but yet again failed to punish the Devil’s for their ill-discipline.
Riley Stadel had the best chance as he lurked toward the backdoor and unleashed a rocket one-timer but Bowns made the save, Gleason Fournier broke away down the other end and went five-hole on Fullerton but he closed the door to deny the shorthanded effort.
Omar Pacha’s powerplay unit re-entered the ice for the fourth time, as Joey Haddad was sent to the box for interference. The Stars had created the chances but failed to have clinical finishes to bring themselves back into the game.
Cameron McGiffin denied a sure goal when he blocked a pass destined for the backdoor and a waiting Devil. The Stars were denying each Cardiff attack time after time but the Devils went back on the powerplay, one which would span into the third period.
Dundee killed the remaining thirsty seconds on the penalty, before Gould made his way into the Devils end but his effort was gloved. Dundee’s fifth man advantage came when Mark Louis was penalised in the forty-ninth minute.
A spectacular chance for Jordan Cownie could have seen Dundee mount a comeback but the puck rattled the bar. Andrew Lord’s men kept their 100% penalty kill and bagged a fourth goal shortly after, as a pass along the blue line to Drew Paris, who’s slapshot was redirected past Fullerton by Layne Ulmer, at 52:11.
The Stars were letting their discipline slip as Cardiff went back on the powerplay, as Riley Stadel was penalised for tripping and he did not agree with the call, resulting in a ten minute misconduct penalty for abusing an official.
Dundee were lucky it was not a fifth goal when a Cardiff player stung the bar with a wrist shot, the Dundee goalie also made an impressive butterfly save to deny the second effort and keep the score line at 4-0.
Emerson Hrynyk and Josh Batch were added to the penalty list, after the pair dropped the gloves. Batch landed many punches but Hrynyk countered with a powerful uppercut that connected with the face of Batch, before the Cardiff player went for the takedown at 58:54.
That was the final action of the game, the Devils disrupted Dundee’s unbeaten home run, Ben Bowns was given Cardiff’s ‘Man of the Match’ award for his shutout and Jordan Cownie picked up the award for Stars after his valiant efforts.
Dundee now face their rivals, the Fife Flyers on Saturday evening in Kirkcaldy before returning to the DIA for their first Elite League meeting with the Milton Keynes Lightning, tickets are still available for both fixtures.