By Kris Smith
Stars won a key match in their push for the final playoff spot after a high-scoring encounter with their Scottish rivals, Edinburgh Capitals.
Dundee began the game with a high-pressure tactic and after nine seconds put the first shot of the game on Jordan McLaughlin. They continued attacking the home team’s net as Brian Hart drove towards goal with pace and was able to get his shot under the pad of McLaughlin to give Stars the lead at 3:07.
The Caps keeper then went on to deny Hart after he tested the young Scot with a bullet from the bottom of the left circle. McLaughlin then made a good post-to-post save to dent another Dundee attack before his helmet came off and that forced a stoppage.
Edinburgh tied the game late in the opening period after Sergei Banashkov was waiting on the doorstep to send Igor Valeyev’s pass high past Fullerton at 16:36. Stars were desperately trying to get their lead back before the end of the period, but a breakaway down the ice for Ainars Podzins gave the home side a chance to go in front.
Joey De Concilys was chasing down the Caps forward, but he could not get his shot past Fullerton before they all collided in front of the net and De Concilys was down injured, he left the ice and did not return.
Dundee started the second period in perfect fashion as Omar Pacha led by example, he fired a quick shot straight into the top corner beating the Edinburgh netminder on his glove side at 20:55. It quickly became a 3-1 lead for Stars as a brilliant solo effort from Anthony Mastrodicasa, he skated the length of the ice before roofing a shot past McLaughlin at 23:47.
The Tayside team were in top gear and found a fourth goal through Lukas Lundvald, the Dane was trailing the play and after arriving late in the offensive zone, he slotted home the pass from Marc-Olivier Mimar at 25:41.
The first penalty of the game was awarded to Edinburgh’s Patrik Moisio as he was called for a slashing infraction. Caps managed to see off the Dundee attacks, but Stars remained in control. However, a sloppy turnover behind the Dundee net allowed the home side to answer back. Podzins collected a pass from Mike Cazzola before delaying his shot as he rounded Fullerton then shot the puck into the Stars net at 30:12.
Callum Robertson seen his shot saved after Fullerton came out to close the angle and got enough on it to deny the Caps forward, before Moisio forced the Dundee keeper to freeze the play. The action started to go end-to-end as Edinburgh slowly edged their way back into the game.
Although, Lundvald swung all the momentum back into the favour of Stars as he restored the three-goal cushion at 38:15. He broke down the ice and beat McLaughlin with a low shot into the corner, making it 5-2 to Dundee. A big hit on a Stars player led to Jordan Cownie instigating a fight with Jay King and the Scottish pair went at it with Cownie taking a while to get going before hammering King with some heavy punches before the linesmen stepped in.
With Cownie picking up a cross-checking penalty before the fight, Edinburgh began the final period on the powerplay but could not utilise the man advantage. Cownie’s minor penalty was served by Malcolm Gould and as he stepped out of the box he got on the end of a pass from Cody Carlson.
Gould passed the puck to Jimmy Jensen and he fired home past McLaughlin to move Stars ahead 6-3 at 41:52. Lundvald was then through on goal but the young keeper robbed him with a stunning glove save. Jensen netted his second as he collected the puck at centre ice and skated through the entire Caps defence untouched before lifting the puck over the pad of McLaughlin at 46:23.
A penalty was called against Pacha for holding and the Stars coach took that opportunity to swap netminders as Craig Holland entered the net with just over twelve minutes to go. Dundee killed off the penalty with ease but more penalties were incoming as Moisio and Kris Inglis dropped the gloves after tensions flared.
Inglis landed some heavy blows on the Finn and it was an impressive fight from the 19-year old where he got the better of his opponent in a heated scrap. Although, the scoring was not finished as 17-year old, Callum Robertson, managed to beat Holland after a battle in front of the net at 52:32.
Despite leading 7-3 Stars were not taking their foot off the gas and Pacha threw a shot on net that was easily saved by the Caps goalie but Cownie was waiting on the doorstep to tuck home the rebound at 52:54.
The road team were not satisfied with just eight goals and swiftly bagged a ninth, this time it was Mimar who put the puck in the net. A well worked passing move around the Caps zone found Mimar unmarked at the back post at 53:56.
It was also the first power play goal of the night after Richards Grigors picked up a roughing minor, but Edinburgh pulled one more goal back to make it 9-4 before time expired. Callum Robertson again was picked out in front of the Stars net and beat Holland for a second time at 57:46.
Dundee collected a huge two points as Coventry Blaze lost 4-1 to Guildford Flames and it reeled both Blaze and Braehead Clan in to just a three-point lead but still with games in hand.
Stars now turn their attention to Tuesday night’s trip to Nottingham after the postponed fixture was rearranged due to the adverse weather conditions.
Photo: Ian Coyle