By Kris Smith
Stars made it six wins in the last six games after a dominant third period lifted them to another victory.
Dundee welcomed the return of their captain, Johan Andersson to their line-up but Jordan Kelsall remained on the injury list.
Stars brought a few saves from Patrick Killeen in the opening minutes before the play went back the other way. The home side were still getting forward minutes later as, Matt Marquardt and Drydn Dow went through on goal but Dow could not get on the end of a squared pass.
Milton Keynes first chance came after an interception in the Stars end came to Radek Meidl but he put a low shot into the lap of Pontus Sjögren. Moments later, Nelson Armstrong drilled his chance wide of the Dundee goal.
The Tayside team were again through on-goal as Matt Bissonnette set-up François Bouchard to score but the Canadian could not beat the Lightning goalie. Then, Dundee’s Lukas Lundvald skipped through the Milton Keynes defence before being denied by Killeen but a premature whistle ended the chance on the rebound.
Martin Mazanec was allowed some space in the Dundee end before the forward roofed his shot into the Stars goal to put the Lightning in the lead after 12 minutes. There were hostilities from the restart but it was Stars that gained the first powerplay as Trevor Morbeck flicked the puck out of play in his own end for a delay of game call in the 15thminute.
The Buckinghamshire club killed the penalty before Marquardt put his shot off the post. In the final minute, the Canadian almost slipped a shot past an unaware Killeen but the danger was swept away by the Lightning defence. Stars six wins in a row was in danger as they ended the first period a goal down.
Dundee resumed their offensive efforts in the middle period as Andersson sent the puck across to Lundvald and the Dane smashed the puck first time into the top corner, tying the game in the 23rdminute. Stars were forcing good saves from Killeen after putting a lot of pressure on the visitors but Sjögren was keeping out the few shots from Milton Keynes that came his way.
Omar Pacha’s men had a lot of time in the English side’s zone before the Lightning broke, a good glove save from the Dundee netminder quickly ended the opportunity. In the 37thminute, Dundee took the lead, as Brian Hart’s shot was saved by Killeen but the rebound hit off of Dow, who was crashing the net and landed in the Lightning goal.
There was a review of the goal but the call on the ice stood. However, there was another chance straight from the restart after Marquardt and Fabrizio Ricci tried to get the puck past Killeen but the danger was quickly cleared after the first shot was saved.
The first chance of the final period was created by Dundee as Marquardt fired a shot that was redirected by Jordan Cownie but unfortunately for the Scot it landed in the glove of the Lightning goalie. A Lundvald shot hit the post before, minutes later Charles Corcoran’s effort was stopped by a sprawling Killeen but Bissonnette tapped in the rebound in the 47thminute.
Even with Stars leading 3-1, they continued to create offence. Hart deflected a shot towards goal but it was nothing to trouble Killeen before Milton Keynes got their first powerplay of the night. Andersson was boxed for slashing in the 50thminute but it was easily killed off by Dundee.
Shortly after the penalty expired, Marquardt finally got on the scoresheet as he rifled in a shot from the left side in the 54thminute. Elite League player of the month for November, Cownie showed some great skill as he dangled the puck around a Lightning defender. However, his brilliant move was ruined by a smart play from Killeen to get down low and take the puck away with his stick.
Omar Pacha’s men were back on the penalty kill as Petr Chaloupka was called for cross-checking in the 56thminute. With less than three minutes to play, Milton Keynes pulled their goalie to make it a short 6-on-4 advantage. Although the powerplay ended, right before Armstrong fired a shot high past the blocker of Sjögren, to make it 4-2 after 58 minutes.
Stars did not switch to a defensive style for the last 90 seconds, with the goalkeeper pulled gain, Shawn Boutin lobbed a pass into the neutral zone and Corcoran came racing through and skated the puck into the empty net with 13 seconds left on the clock. Martin Mazanec and Dundee’s Lukas Lundvald were chosen as winners of the ‘Man of the Match’ awards.
Stars play host again on Sunday as Sheffield Steelers are the visitors in town, aiming to prevent Omar Pacha’s Stars from going seven games undefeated.