By Kris Smith
Dundee came into game with the momentum of last night’s 3-2 overtime in Coventry as both teams had the long bus trip back up to Dundee, the home side were without Andersson, Lawrence and McGiffin for this evening’s game.
The Stars were gifted an early powerplay as Ryan Dingle was quickly penalised by referee Toby Craig at 2:23. Dundee unloaded some great shots but the Blaze goalie was equal to all of them.
The penalty was killed and as it expired Dingle joined a break with his teammates, the puck came to Dingle who fired a quick slapshot but Travis Fullerton got a piece of the puck to keep it out. The action went from end to end with both teams cancelling each other out.
However the Blaze got on the board first as Vojtech Kloz with a quick wrist shot from the blue and no one can get a touch on it before it hit the back of the net at13:29. Fullerton made a few more big saves to keep the Stars just one goal behind.
Adam Harding broke across the blueline 1-on-1 with a Coventry defenceman but Kevin Nastiuk managed to get enough on it and kept the chances of his clean sheet alive.
The first period concluded and there was plenty handbags from either side as it was starting to heat up and the second stanza brought this out in both sides.
The Blaze had an early powerplay chance to start the second as Omar Pacha was given a slashing penalty at 21:59. Anthony Mastrodicasa took a hit on the penalty kill that sent him to the dressing room for treatment….return? Dundee killed the penalty before a huge hit was delivered to Luke Ferrara, causing an injury of the play before David Clements chased him down to start a scrap that ended with a Clements takedown.
Coventry went back on the powerplay after Malcolm Gold committed a boarding infraction at 26:07. An impressive weekend for the Stars penalty killing unit as they once again denied the Blaze. It was then a chance for Dundee with the man advantage as Marc-Olivier Vallerand went to the box for tripping, however they also failed to make the man advantage count.
Danny Stewart’s men thought they had scored as the goal light came on but the puck was lost underneath the Dundee goalie and after a review, referee Craig officially called it as ‘no goal’.
Dundee used this short break to re-energise themselves and it worked as a quick shot from Pacha, was blocked by a Coventry player’s glove and Gabriel Lévesque was there to fire home the loose puck at 34:01. The second period ended following the Stars failure to make a 5-on-3 powerplay count, as Dax Lauwers received a 2+10 for checking form behind and Ross Venus picked up a two-minute holding penalty.
Both teams had good chances throughout the third period as the big hits from the second continued to play a part. The gameplay was not as fluent as it had been previously, both teams seemed to be low on ideas and from the few chances they did create none were finished.
A mix up on the blueline gifted the puck to the Stars and after quick passing Jordan Cownie was clear through and received the puck in front of goal but Nastiuk was there to deny him. The Blaze got the only powerplay of the third period as Omar Pacha went back to the box on a minor kneeing infraction at 53:19. A quick shot by Coventry from face-off was once again kept out by Fullerton, after some doubt and a goal-line review, it was once again called as ‘no goal’. The action went from end to end once more but neither team could find a decider and the game went into overtime, for a second time this weekend.
Two good opportunities for the Blaze were denied by Fullerton as he stonewalled his opponents on several occasions. Dundee’s Jimmy Jensen pulled out a great move to move around the Blaze defender but fell over before he could get a shot away, then Justin Fox poke-checked the puck off the Coventry defenceman’s stick to give himself a breakaway but his shot hit the goalframe. It came down to the final minute of 3-on-3 overtime when Ryan Dingle sent a pass to the back door for a waiting Adam Courchaine. He quickly shot the puck past a diving Fullerton and claimed the points for the West Midlands side.
Vojtech Kloz and Travis Fullerton were awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ accolades for their performance.
The Stars now have to prepare for next weekend’s double header with Elite League newcomers, the Guildford Flames. They face the Surrey team at home on Saturday night, 7pm face-off, before taking the trip south of the border to the Spectrum Arena for the second meeting.