Dundee Stars 2-1 Glasgow Clan

By Kris Smith

After a disappointing defeat to Belfast on Saturday night, the Stars bounced back with a strong performance to see off the Clan.

With the late news of Fabrizio Ricci and Glasgow’s Matt Haywood’s one game suspensions both teams had to adjust their lines ahead of the Challenge Cup Group A match.

There were early chances at both ends and Dundee were getting forward well, Charlie Corcoran teed-up a dangerous cross ice pass in the Glasgow end but no one could get on the other end of it. Lukas Lundvald played in Craig Garrigan but he missed the puck and another chance for the Stars went beckoning.

Dundee netminder Pontus Sjögren made a strong diving save as he smothered a hard shot from one of the Clan forwards. Glasgow began to build pressure on the home side but hitting the post was the closest they got to an opening goal.

Dundee were on the penalty kill after Petr Chaloupka was boxed for two minutes on an interference call but Omar Pacha’s men killed it off with ease. After returning to full strength Stars were straight back on the attack, a scramble in front of Joel Rumpel’s goal caused alarm but the Clan keeper recovered quickly.

It was then the home side’s turn on the man advantage as Zack Fitzgerald was called for high-sticking in the eleventh minute. However, Dundee found no breakthrough. Shortly after the Clan penalty expired, two good saves were made by both goalies, but Rumpel was the unluckier of the two as the puck landed behind him before being quickly cleared away by the Glasgow defence.

Lundvald then received his second assault in two nights as he was pounced on by Gerrard Hanson after delivering- a clean hit. This left Dundee on the powerplay for four minutes as the Clan player picked up two minutes for kneeing and another two for roughing. Glasgow managed to kill off the first half of the four-minute powerplay before the first period ended. Stars could have been well ahead if they finished the loose rebounds.

Early in the second, Lundvald stole possession in the slot but the Dane could not find a way past Rumpel. He then took a hit as he entered the Clan zone and that drew a penalty against Tyson Wilson for tripping. The penalty was killed before Lukas was boarded, which led to a delayed penalty. Stars got an extra skater on while they still had possession and with the extra man, they worked the puck around the zone and after making one save, Rumpel was unable to keep out Jordan Cownie’s shot off the rebound at 24:48.

Chaloupka returned to the box on a holding call in 28th minute but it was easily killed off by Dundee again. In the thirtieth minute, a bad line change left the home side short at the back and Scott Pitt took off down the ice and fired a shot that Sjogren got a piece of but was unable to deflect it wide of his post.

François Bouchard found himself on a breakaway but was stripped off the puck by a defender, although it was still Dundee creating the best chances with a lot of offensive zone time. Both teams lost a player after co-incidental minor penalties but Stars ended up on a powerplay as Fitzgerald was penalised for roughing.

Mike Sullivan rattled his shot off the bar before Cownie fired wide on the rebound, just seconds after the man advantage had ended. The second period ended with still no side in front, setting up a thrilling third period.

There was an early chance for Dundee’s Brian Hart but the Glasgow goalie held his shot to freeze the play. Pacha was not pleased when he lost Bouchard to a two-minute interference penalty after Connolly had dropped to the ice with the Stars bench protesting that there had not been a foul. However, the visitors were unable to take advantage after another strong penalty kill by Dundee.

A quick counter attack by Stars seen Lundvald pass to the wide open Garrigan who fired his shot first-time and that forced a magnificent diving save out of Rumpel. The game fell to a low tempo with the teams going back and forth but moments later a beautiful solo effort from Matt Marquardt put Dundee deservedly back in front. He dodged a body-check before rounding Rumpel and coolly slid the puck into the net at 52:52.

Pete Russell’s Clan were looking for a quick equaliser and Connolly almost found one when he got through alone but his slapshot was easily held by Sjögren. Marquardt was boxed for hooking in the fifty-seventh minute and left Stars fans on the edge of their seat, praying for another strong defensive effort from their team. Not only did Dundee deliver, but they secured the two points with some excellent blocking in the final minute as Glasgow desperately tried to find an opening that just was not there.

Glasgow’s Joel Rumpel and Dundee’s game-winning hero Matt Marquardt were the recipients of the ‘Man of the Match’ awards.