By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars were narrowly defeated in Wales last night as they were on the wrong side of a 4-2 score line.
Stars were without defenceman Connor Cox who had an upper body injury and forward, Lukas Lundvald was also unavailable with a lower body injury. Meanwhile, Devils were missing three of their players.
It was a quick start from Cardiff and on their first attack, Charles Linglet collided with Dundee goalkeeper, Pontus Sjögren but the Swede appeared to be okay. The home side took an early lead through Joey Haddad after his backhanded shot flew into the rood of the Stars net in the fourth minute.
The Devils looked dangerous but Dundee were denying Andrew Lord’s men of a second goal. Stars centreman, Jordan Cownie had a two-on-one break with Matt Marquardt but on their first real chance, Ben Bowns kept out Cownie’s effort. A one-timer goal from Jake Morrissette in the 12thminute, doubled the Welsh side’s lead.
Following the restart, Marquardt was unable to hit the target from close range on a golden opportunity for the Tayside team to get on the board. Cardiff’s Evan Mosey missed a big chance to move Cardiff 3-0 into the lead as he collected a rebound from Sjögren but put his shot off target.
Dundee’s Craig Garrigan picked up the first penalty and was boxed for tripping in the 17thminute. Omar Pacha’s men killed off the penalty before they missed some key chances in the final minute of the first period.
Just 88 seconds into the middle period, Matt Pope made it 3-0 as he beat the Stars netminder from the hashmarks in front. The home team welcomed some chances on the powerplay as Dundee hit penalty trouble. Mike Sullivan was the first to be penalised for a slashing crime in the 26thminute.
Shortly after returning to full-strength, Marquardt was then binned for a high-sticking foul. The situation levelled out at four-on-four when Devils’ Joey martin was assessed a tow minute minor penalty for slashing. However, Stars were back shorthanded as a delay of game call went against François Bouchard in the 29thminute.
Pacha’s men survived their shorthanded stint before Charles Corcoran got them off the mark in the 31stminute. He beat Bowns between his legs on a breakaway with a classic triple-deke move. Following the goal, Stars had a chance on the powerplay as Mark Louis was called for cross-checking in the 33rdminute.
Dundee did not take advantage and continued to trial 3-1 before giving the Devils another chance on the powerplay as Matt Bissonnette was given a minor penalty for abuse of an official in the final minute of period two.
Period three began with Stars killing off the two-minute minor. Although a big hit on Jordan Kelsall led to tussle between a few players and Pope being sent to the sin bin in the 51stminute.
Yet again, Pacha’s powerplay failed to click before Cardiff’s Stephen Dixon had time and space to release a powerful slapshot but Sjögren was able to hold it and get a whistle. Dundee pulled it back to 3-2 through Bouchard with less than five minutes to play, after he put a shot high past the Cardiff goalie.
The home team went straight back on the offensive but could not restore their lead quickly. However, Drydn Dow was called for high sticking on the 58 minutes and that left Dundee a man down. With Sjögren pulled, Cardiff were on the attack but Petr Chaloupka made a brave save to keep out one shot before Joey martin tapped in the rebound with nine seconds left to play.
‘Man of the Match’ awards went to Devils captain, Jake Morrissette and Dundee’s François Bouchard. Stars now return to Tayside and prepare for their second clash of the weekend with another top side. They host third place Nottingham Panthers and look to once again, bounce back with a victory.