By Kris Smith
Stars’ run of five straight home wins were brought to an end by a Braehead side hungry for redemption after losing at home on Saturday night.
Dundee had come back from 3-1 down to claim a vital 4-3 win in Milton Keynes last night but the long journey had clearly had an effect.
The home side were without the injured Adam Harding, Chris Lawrence and Johan Andersson with Anthony Mastrodicasa also missing from the line-up. Cale Tanaka played in his first game against Dundee since joining Clan in the summer and they were without Lee Esders, Josh Grieveson and Tyler Shattock.
Dundee were given the first powerplay opportunity after just eight seconds as Bari McKenzie was called for slashing. Despite a rocket of a shot from Lukas Lundvald that hit the shoulder of Ryan Nie in the Clan goal, Stars could not get an early lead.
Brian Hart then put a shot on goal from the edge of the crease but it did not go past Nie and the visitor’s defencemen quickly cleared away the rebound. Not long after, Nie was forced into action again, he got a piece of the initial shot before leaping up and covering the puck as it landed on top of the net.
Emerson Hrynyk and Jacob Doty headed to centre ice to drop the gloves and the pair exchanged some heavy blows before Hrynyk yanked the Clan player to the ice. A big hit in the Dundee end, behind the play resulted in Riley Stadel and Landon Oslanski also deciding to drop the gloves at centre ice, less than a minute later. Just like the previous fight, the Dundee player landed some heavy punches early in the bout before both hit the ice after losing their footing.
Stars picked up two more powerplays and put a lot of shots on Nie’s net but nothing could beat the Braehead keeper. At the other end, a wraparound attempt by Mike Embach was saved by the blade of Fullerton’s stick after Embach fanned on the original shot.
Ben Edmonds missed his chance for his first goal of this season after he missed a loose puck that was sliding past the gaping back door of the Clan goal. John Tripp’s men opened the scoring with a powerplay goal after Doty smashed a loose rebound into the top of the net at 19:27.
The roles were reversed in the second period as Braehead became the dominant side. Dundee gave up their man advantage when a defensive error forced Omar Pacha to chase down the breaking Tyler Scofield and the Stars head coach picked up a hooking penalty for his efforts.
After both teams had regained their fifth skater, Doty went clean through the Stars defence and slid the puck straight through the five-hole of the Dundee keeper at 28:01. The home side needed a quick response and almost got it when Nielsen intercepted a pass from the Braehead end but his shot was saved by Nie.
The game started to heat up again as the physical play returned. However, a big scramble in front of the Braehead goal gave Dundee a chance to pull one back but no one could get a clean shot away. The Glasgow team extended their lead to 3-0 after a quick pass was sent by Doty to Robert Lepine, who released a quick shot that beat Fullerton at 33:25. It was not looking good for the home side until some hard work by Gabriel Lévesque and Marc-Olivier Mimar was rewarded when they found Pacha in miles of space and he shot the puck low past Nie to get Dundee off the mark at 37:35.
Stars gained their sixth powerplay of the night in the fortieth minute, as Jordan Cownie was hooked by Cale Tanaka after some silky moves from the Stars forward in the Clan end. The home team put a lot of pressure on the Braehead defence as the period was drawing to a close but picked up exactly where they left off, to start the final period.
A slapshot along the ice by Pacha was deflected past Nie by Mimar at 40:24, for a powerplay goal. Dundee could not take advantage of a seventh powerplay opportunity before Brendan Brooks collected a loose puck and went 1-on-1 with Travis Fullerton.
The Clan’s leading point scorer repeated the same goal he has scored three times against Dundee this season, Brooks fired a quick slapshot from the hash-marks straight into the top corner at 46:33.
A quick play by the road team resulted in Brooks netting his second, Scofield passed the puck across to Brooks, who was all alone and he shot it high past the diving Fullerton at 46:47.
Cody Carlson then smashed a slapshot off the mask of Nie before he linked up well with Brian Hart and Dundee moved into the attacking zone but Hart was slashed by Michal Gutwald and that put the home team back on the powerplay.
Mimar scored his second powerplay goal of the night to make it 5-3. Omar Pacha had called a timeout and pulled his goalie for the extra skater on the powerplay, Carlson fired a shot and the rebound dropped onto the stick of Mimar and he tucked it home at 54:19.
The Clan restored their three-goal cushion through Lepine less than a minute later, as Fullerton could not hold the shot and the puck trickled through his legs and across the line at 54:57.
Braehead did not stop there, Craig Cescon scored against his former team to make it 7-3 after he received a pass in the slot and fired the puck into the top left corner at 55:31. Oslanski was sent for an early shower after abusing the on-ice officials in the final moments.
Dundee failed to score from the resulting powerplay and that concluded the game and their winning streak. Marc-Olivier Mimar and Braehead’s Ryan Nie were chosen as the ‘Man of the Match’ award winners.
Dundee put together five straight wins at home and four in 2018 before being handed their first loss of the new year. They now prepare for a clash with their biggest rivals, Fife Flyers, who were also brought down to earth after losing 5-2 to Coventry Blaze on Sunday night.