By Kris Smith
Dundee Stars topped the Challenge Cup Group B standings after a dramatic shootout win over the Edinburgh Capitals at the DIA.
The Stars went into their second fixture, still short-benched with Lawrence and Mastrodicasa still out, Edinburgh were missing five players from their line-up, most notably their top scorer from last season, who is yet to arrive.
The game got underway with Dundee having the first chance as Jimmy Jensen’s shot was saved just 19 seconds into play and it was the Stars who had the majority of possession for the first five minutes of the game.
The home side were playing a lot of pucks across the crease of the Edinburgh goal, hoping for that lucky touch or bounce, however it was Edinburgh that got on the board first as they broke into the Dundee end 3-on-2, the puck came to Juris Upitis who pulled it back across the sliding goalie, Travis Fullerton and into the net.
Dundee failed to level the score on the powerplay before Igor Valeyev made it 2-0 to Dmitri Khristich’s side, a pass in front of goal by Upitis was smashed past Fullerton.
Omar Pacha had an affective team talk in the first break as Patrick Lee got the home team on the board just seven minutes into the second period, he beat Pavel Shegalo in the Caps net from a tight angle after a fast break by the Stars.
Dundee found an equaliser ten minutes later as Emerson Hrynyk stopped a clearance, stepped in to the slot and fired a shot through traffic, the puck was loose under Shegalo but Tyler Brickler poked it across the goal line.
The third period started with some penalties after Callum Boyd crashed into the Stars goalie, who took exception and so did his teammates as a few jabs were thrown at the Edinburgh player, the result was a Caps powerplay after Emerson Hrynyk received a double-minor and Callum Boyd was assessed a single penalty.
It was deadlock game after that as both teams missed chances and netminders made save after save, despite the Capitals having another powerplay opportunity.
Although in the final three minutes Riley Stadel was assessed a two-minute cross-checking penalty by referee Paul Staniforth and this time Edinburgh would punish the Stars, a shot by Dylan Anderson was redirected by the Caps latest signing, Dillon Lawrence, and Fullerton could not keep it out.
Dundee turned up the intensity with just a 90 seconds remaining, they pulled netminder Fullerton and as he reached the bench, Emerson Hrynyk received a pass and fired through traffic and a screened Shegalo, who could not make the save.
The game went into 3-on-3 overtime as both teams desperately wanted the extra point, few chances were created but none of them would be the decider as the game required penalty shots to find a winner.
Mike Cazzola and Patrick Lee went first for their sides but neither of them could find the twine, Igor Valeyev and Malcom Gould were the choices for round two but suffered the same fate.
Sergei Banashkov had a chance to put Omar Pacha’s Stars under pressure but he was denied by the pad of Fullerton, Riley Stadel had the chance to repeat his heroics from the Belfast game but hit the side-netting after a great move.
It came down to sudden-death, it was Dundee’s turn to go first and Marc-Oliver Mimar skated out to take his first penalty shot in a Stars jersey, he veered left and shot from the top of the circle, high over the shoulder of Shegalo to give Dundee the advantage.
Dillion Lawrence, had to save the Caps, he skated right and came across Fullerton but the puck slid wide of the net and Dundee were sent top of group B in the Challenge Cup.
Dundee Stars 4 Edinburgh Capitals 3 (SO)