By Kris Smith
Dundee headed into Coventry with a huge boost as Anthony Mastrodicasa and Jordan Cownie returned to their line-up alongside the addition of new signing Justin Fox, as the Stars looked to return to winning ways.
Head coach Omar Pacha also made his debut in a Stars jersey as he came into the roster as injury cover for Cam McGiffin and Johan Andersson.
Garrett Ladd fired the home side into the lead just two and a half minutes into play, the American shot the puck into the roof of the net giving Travis Fullerton no chance to make the save. Coventry’s Gustav Ahnelöv took the first penalty of the game when he was called for interference at 6:17.
The action went end-to-end for the rest of the period with Malcolm Gould missing a key chance to tie the game as he fired wide of the net from the open backdoor. Jimmy Jensen received a 2+2 penalty after he crushed David Clements into the boards resulting in a two minute boarding call at 17:08 plus a two minute roughing call when Coventry’s Jordan Pietrus took exception to the hit and started a scuffle with the Swede.
The second period contained much of the same with a few early penalties against the Stars as Hrynyk and Stadel’s minors created a 5-on-3 chance for the Blaze but the Dundee penalty killing unit kept its perfect record on the night. Coventry received another man advantage a few minutes later when Brian Hart was charged with a two minute penalty for illegal equipment at 29:47.
The West Midlands club again failed to take advantage of the powerplay. Patrick Lee could have tied the game as he was alone in front of goal but shot straight at Kevin Nastiuk in the Coventry goal. Dundee got a second powerplay chance when Adam Courchaine went to the box on a slashing call at 36:34. The Stars found an equaliser when Riley Stadel’s one-timer rocketed into the twine at 37:33.
Danny Stewart fired his side up in the second intermission as the home team came out fighting and restored their lead, less than two minutes after the restart and it was Ross Venus who found the net at 41:56. Riley Stadel was Dundee’s hero once again after a fantastic move to beat the Coventry netminder, tying the game again at 2-2 in the forty-fifth minute.
No team could find a winner in the remaining time of regulation despite Riley Stadel putting the Blaze back on the powerplay with less than seven minutes to play after referee Dean Smith deemed the Canadian guilty of a slashing minor.
The third period ended with the game still in deadlock and it would take an additional five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime to find a winner. The play went back and forth but no clear-cut chances were created until Riley Stadel found a chance to win the game with just thirty-four seconds remaining and that he did.
Dundee claimed the victory and extra point and the Stars hero bagged his first professional career hat-trick. Stadel was selected alongside Ben Lake and Vojtech Kloz as the three stars of the game.
Both teams now head up to Dundee for a repeat at the DIA tonight. 6:30pm face-off.
Photo: Scott Wiggins