By Kris Smith
The Dundee Stars were the victors in tonight’s exhibition match against the Edinburgh Capitals. After suffering a shootout defeat on Sunday in the Scottish capital, Omar Pacha’s Stars got back to winning ways, except this time it was done in sixty minutes.
As Dundee went without three imports, who are expected to arrive shortly, Edinburgh were able to add Konstantin Teslyukevich, Marek Tvrdon and Latvian Trialist Martins Jakovlevs to their line-up. However the Caps were still without Alexander Islamov and the injured Jay King.
The game faced-off and the sides could not be separated as both teams tried to breakdown each other’s defence. However a hooking call on Edinburgh’s Igor Valeyev, inside the first five minutes, gave Dundee the advantage early on and it was Jimmy Jensen who punished the Caps ill-discipline with a powerplay goal at 6:01. The Stars had set-up in the Caps zone for the entire powerplay and were not moved until they got their goal.
Dmitri Khristich’s side then got their chance as Jensen was called for roughing at 8:34 and sat for two minutes. Travis Fullerton kept Dundee in front as he made a big save on the ten minute mark. However he could not keep out Marek Tvrdon’s effort as he marked his Caps debut with a powerplay goal at 10:18.
Edinburgh got the chance to test Dundee’s penalty kill once more as Cameron McGiffin was given a two minute penalty by referee Pavel Halas, at 11:56. Although it was Dundee who had the better of the chances as Taylor Dickin, had the chance to score his and the Stars first shorthanded goal of the season but he could not beat Pavel Shegalo in the Caps goal. Adam Harding had the chance to do the same but was unable to get a shot off.
The Stars killed the penalty and went back on the attack, putting the Edinburgh defence back under pressure. Konstantin Teslyukevich was then penalised on a two minute minor for elbowing at 15:03. The next opportunity came to the away side as Taylor Stefishen hit the side netting whilst one-on-one with the Dundee defenceman, Teslyukevich then broke away but hit the glass behind. The Caps then found themselves a man down once again as a bench penalty for too-many men was called and served by Marek Tvrdon at 17:20.
Tyler Brickler went through on goal but could not fire the puck past Shegalo. The first period ended how it begun, with a draw, the only thing that wasn’t evenly matched was the penalty minutes.
The second period seen Dundee step-up a gear, they started to really test the Edinburgh defence and was cutting through the opposition in the same way they did in last Sunday’s opening period. Anthony Mastrodicasa received an interference penalty, which the Stars did well to kill and as soon as they returned to full-strength, Adam Harding was found in front of goal by Riley Stadel and restored Dundee’s lead at 27:50.
Shortly after Edinburgh’s Martins Jakovlevs was detained for two minutes on a holding-the-stick infraction. Valeyev broke away whilst shorthanded and tested Travis Fullerton, who was forced to produce a blocker save, that would swing the momentum back in Dundee’s favour.
Gabriel Lévesque found the net after a quick pass form Jordan Cownie, to give Dundee their second powerplay goal of the game at 30:48 and a 3-1 lead. Travis Fullerton was exchanged for Craig Holland, who would see out the rest of the game.
Sheepdog was immediately tested in the Dundee net and produced a good save, he was then thanking his post after it denied another troubling shot from the Caps. Both sides were getting away clean shots and the game was still evenly matched despite the score line. Dundee had the upper hand more often as their powerplays and quick attacks put the Caps under pressure again.
Riley Stadel fired a slapshot from the blue line after Dundee held possession, for some time in the Edinburgh zone. The first icing of the game was not called until the thirty-five minute mark of the game. Edinburgh’s Dylan Anderson had a chance to bring his team back into the game but he fired over the net from the back post.
Igor Valeyev was the dangerman again as his effort was saved by Holland with three minutes left on the clock. Mike Cazzola suffered the same fate with just one minute remaining. As the buzzer sounded for the end of the second period, a few afters started as Cam Mcgiffin exchanged words and some handbags with Callum Boyd, both players received 2+2 roughing penalties.
The third period started and it looked as if Edinburgh would come back into the game. Sloppy passes made the game look somewhat untidy and Craig Holland was forced to make a double save, one on his leg and the rebound to his chest. Holland went on to deny Edinburgh at every turn and Dundee built up their confidence again, they broke down the ice and a pass to Adam Harding set him up to try a wrap-around but Shegalo was there to smother the puck.
Riley Stadel and Malcolm Gould were next to try and increase Dundee’s lead as the pair took on two defenceman but their efforts were unsuccessful. The game was drawing to a close as Cam McGiffin was called to the box once more, this time on a tripping minor at 54:08. Dmitri Khristich’s men took full advantage of this opportunity and punished the Stars.
Sergei Banashkov found the twine at 55:15 on the powerplay. The caps were extremely close to levelling the game when a scramble in front of the Stars net ensued, the puck was cleared out as far as the blue line before Holland gloved the following slapshot.
The first offside of the game was not called until the fifty-sixth minute and this infraction summed up how hungry the Capitals were for that equaliser. Dundee cleared the pressure and Lévesque found himself in the clear, his shot hit the target and also the goalie.
With twenty-five seconds on the clock Edinburgh pulled Pavel Shegalo for the extra man. They were getting the possession and momentum, one shot slipped through Craig Holland and crossed the line following a goal mouth scramble but referee Pavel Halas waived the goal off with just three seconds remaining.
The buzzer went and Dundee had defended their lead and made their home record 2-0-0 and Mike Cazzola and Gabriel Lévesque were praised as the Man of the Match for their respective teams.
Both teams will now be preparing for this weekend’s inaugural Scottish Cup tournament that takes place in Edinburgh over the course of the weekend.