By Kris Smith
Stars travelled to Yorkshire for the second leg of the Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals and they had a 7-2 deficit to overturn from last week. They would travel without Cam McGiffin and Taylor Dickin after they club parted-ways with both players on Monday
Steelers won the opening draw and quickly got a shot on net but Travis Fullerton was just as quick with his glove. Dundee then got there first shot away however Ervins Mustukovs covered with ease. The action went from end to end, Gabriel Levesque almost put Dundee ahead when he tested Mustukovs with a quick shot. The home side almost opened the scoring when Colton Fretter hit the side netting after a rebound spilt to the side of the Dundee net. Adam Harding was next to go close after he pulled the puck around the sliding Sheffield defenceman man but Mustukovs did enough to deny the Stars forward and with no one able to tap in the rebound, the gamer remained scoreless. Justin Fox was denied at the backdoor on Dundee’s first powerplay, but Sheffield quickly broke down the ice and Fullerton could not hold the first shot and had to drop on top of the puck to freeze play. Incredible defensive efforts from Stars had fizzled out the attacks from Steelers so far, yet offensively Dundee had no luck, Fox stretched to reach a pass from Marc-Olivier Mimar but he could not get it on net. Stars almost get a breakaway, but it is cut out at the last second by the Steelers last man. Tim Wallace’s tip from point blank range nearly put the home side ahead before the break but Fullerton was equal to it.
Heavy pressing by Sheffield killed any momentum Stars had gained from the first period yet, Fullerton was doing well to keep out the increasing number of shots. A big hit on Mastrodicasa sparked a fire inside the Canadian as he immediately went after Robert Dowd and the pair went toe-to-toe. A big bounce off the boards sent the puck back in front of the Dundee goal but the Stars defence did well to kill the opportunity. A range of powerplays for both teams fail to provide the first goal. Malcolm Gould hit the post as he tried to force one past the Steelers keeper. It was the home side who got the first goal and it came on the powerplay after some brilliant skill form Miika Franssila, he pulled it through the defence and around Fullerton at 37:30 to extend his side’s aggerate advantage to six goals. Paul Thompson’s men quickly doubled their lead, after a play from behind the net, the puck is batted past Fullerton by Matt Marquardt at 39:46.
Brad Day entered the Sheffield net to start the third period. Marquardt got his second and Sheffield’s third of the night after he broke down the ice and beat Fullerton. It quickly became 4-0 as Zack Fitzgerald got on the scoresheet at 44:29 and that was the end of Fullerton’s night. Craig Holland entered the net for the last fifteen minutes, he would face the dominant Steelers attack hungry for more goals. Mastrodicasa had been in the box a matter of second before a powerplay goal found the net at 47:18, Mathieu Roy tipped Ben O’Connor’s slapshot past Holland, O’Connor got one for himself moments later, as he beat Holland through the five-hole from top of the circle. The Stars backup was making some big saves to keep the score at 6-0 and he was helped out when a shorthanded break is well cut out by two Dundee defencemen. One tied up the extra attacker and the other dived to take away the puck, things got heated after that as Dundee head coach, Omar Pacha and Fretter were next to
drop the gloves but it did not last long as both hit the ice. There was some consolation for Dundee as Fox robbed Day of the shutout as he fired one off the bar and in at 58:48.
A four goal third period seen off Dundee once more and Steelers progressed to the cup semi-finals, meanwhile Dundee now prepare to host their biggest rivals, Fife Flyers, this Friday at the DIA.