By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars were thrashed 9-2 by the Glasgow Clan on Saturday night as they failed to secure their first win of 2019.
Dundee’s Shawn Boutin was missing from the line-up for a second straight game because of injury but starting netminder, Pontus Sjögren was healthy again. Meanwhile hosts, Glasgow were at full-strength.
Peter Russell’s Clan got off to a quick start as Gerard Hanson put them ahead inside the fourth minute and straight from the restart, Vaclav Stupka added a second. A few more minutes passed before Brendan Connolly put the puck past Sjögren in the ninth minute and after a video-review, referees Toby Craig and Allan Ward gave the goal to make it 3-0.
Glasgow dominated the early play and did not take their foot off the throat of Dundee as Jack Musil added a fourth. Dundee picked up the only two penalties of the match as Lukas Lundvald caught Michal Gutwald in the face with his stick and drew blood. That forced the Dane to sit for four minutes and during that stint, defenceman Mike Sullivan sent the puck out of play in his own end, earning him two minutes.
The home side fully utilised their five-on-three powerplay, capitalising twice. Matt Beca netted in the 16th minute before 48 seconds later, Matt Stanisz scored the sixth goal after just 16 minutes of the first period.
Omar Pacha’s side went into the first break half a dozen goals behind but he did get some response from his players in the middle stanza. Despite conceding a seventh goal in the 24th minute as Scott Tanski found the net, Matt Bissonnette got Stars on the board after his shot trickled past Joel Rumpel in the 28th minute.
After Clan swapped their keepers, bringing Gary Russell into the game, the Tayside team began to generate some momentum as Brian Hart added Dundee’s second goal of the game in the 37th minute. However, a second goal for Connolly to make it 8-2 quickly killed any hope of a miracle comeback.
There was only one goal in the third period as Beca bagged his brace with just under five minutes left to play. Brendan Connolly and Dundee’s Brian Hart picked up the ‘Man of the Match’ awards.
Stars are still searching for their first win of 2019 but with their hectic festive schedule over, they have a week to rest before a double header with sixth in the league, Sheffield Steelers. Dundee travel to Yorkshire next Saturday before hosting Tom Barrasso’s men at the DIA on Sunday.
Pacha has demanded that his team return to the same level they were performing at, at the end of last year. Stars are one point clear of ninth place Coventry Blaze and need to avoid slipping out the play-off spots. However, they are tied on points with Guildford, two behind Sheffield and four behind Glasgow, who have moved into fifth position.