Stars 7-4 Capitals

By Kris Smith

A boosted Stars side finally found their rhythm as they fought back against a quick start from the Caps to earn two valuable conference and play-off points.

Debuts for Dundee’s Cody Carlson and Edinburgh’s new netminder, Tyler Beskorowany, teed-up this Gardiner Conference clash to be a tight one as both were in desperate need of a win.

Edinburgh had possession early on and made a smooth play down the ice as Sergei Banashkov carried the puck into the Dundee end before he released a shot that flew straight into the top corner after just thirty-four seconds. Stars looked for a quick answer and a good drop pass by Gabriel Lévesque to Malcolm Gould threatened the Edinburgh net but Tyler Beskorowany stood up and got a piece of it to keep Dundee out.

Pavel Vorobyev cut the puck out and broke away from everyone else but his shot went straight into the chest of Travis Fullerton. Lévesque tried again to get his side back on level terms, however, his shot hit one of his teammates.

The rebound was collected by Emerson Hrynyk and he forced a save out of the Caps netminder. Anthony Mastrodicasa fired a shot that was gloved by Beskorowany to keep his side ahead. Dundee had all the momentum and continued to unleash waves of attacks on the Edinburgh goal but their defences held strong.

Lévesque and Lukas Lundvald Nielsen both had their quick shots gloved by Beskorowany before Caps dangerman, Mike Cazzola was denied at the other end. Pavel Vorobyev created a 2-on-1 break and drew the Stars defenceman in before passing it to Dylan Anderson, who deked the puck around the Dundee goalie and lifted his shot into the net at 11:14.

The visitors were taking control but Dundee were being creative with their chances, albeit with no finish. Eventually the home team started to overpower Edinburgh and were parked in their zone. The puck was cleared around the boards by Michael D’Orazio, Dundee’s Omar Pacha picked it up and flung a shot on net.

Beskorowany made the first stop and the second from Lévesque but Adam Harding batted in a the third rebound at 17:09. Vorobyev was found lurking behind the Stars defence and a stretched pass put him clean through, Fullerton came out to clear and got a piece but not enough, as the Caps forward regained control of the puck and shot it at the open net.

However, a flying Riley Stadel dived across goal to block the effort and took the net off its moorings as the shot was released, the call was no goal from referees Neil Wilson and Toby Craig after it was reviewed. Stadel was given a two-minute penalty for delay of game and play resumed but the only action in the remaining seconds was when Harding seen his shot deflected out of play as he lost the chance for a late equaliser.

There was a small delay before the second period got underway as excess water was cleared off the ice, eventually the game resumed and Dundee quickly killed off the remaining time of Stadel’s minor. The Stars then won a face-off in the Caps end and a shot came in from the blue line which Beskorowany done well to  stop but Brian Hart was there to lift the rebound high into the roof of the Edinburgh net at 22:16.

Now back on level terms, Stars were up and running, the puck was collected deep in the Dundee end and was worked forward before a series of passes ended with Marc-Olivier Mimar slotting it home at the backdoor on the twenty-four minute mark to give Dundee the lead.

The Visitors got another powerplay as Nielsen sat on a slashing minor and the Caps were hungry for an equaliser. Anderson evaded a diving block from the incoming Stars defencemen before getting his shot away but it went straight up and out of play.

Edinburgh failed to utilise the powerplay but were working the puck around well and a slapshot from Konstantin Teslyukevich tied the game at 3-3 after 28:07. Edinburgh struck once more using their speed as Ainars Podzins’ effort was saved by Fullerton but the puck came to Banashkov and he rifled one in off the bar to put the visitors back in front at 29:27.

A delayed penalty against D’Orazio’s men gave Dundee a 6-on-5 advantage for around 40 seconds before Lévesque sniped a shot straight past Beskorowany at 31:36. The game slowed down after Stars failed on their first powerplay of the night but they were soon threatening the opposition offensively again.

Harding drifted across goal before firing a shot back across the body of Beskorowany but the Canadian got his trapper behind it. The home team regrouped and came back into the Edinburgh end and Lévesque picked out Gould who was alone in front of goal and he lifted a shot high over the trapper of the Edinburgh keeper at 39:08. Omar Pacha’s men had snuck in front just before the final intermission.

The final period started with end-to end action with no team looking like they would score however Jimmy Jensen picked out Stadel and he fired a rocket past Beskorowany for Dundee’s sixth of the evening at 45:25.

For once it was not Stars who were looking tired out by the opposition as the short-benched Caps got another man advantage, this time Cownie was penalised for hooking in the forty-ninth minute. Dundee almost pulled away with it as Gould and Lévesque broke down into the Caps end on a 2-on-1 and Gould sent a pass across to his teammate but it clipped the post slightly as it went wide.

Cody Carlson had a great performance on his debut but he gave the opposition a way back into the game when he was charged with tripping in the fifty-forth minute. Luckily for Dundee’s new d-man the closest Edinburgh got was when Nikita Kolesnikovs rattled a slapshot off the crossbar.

Omar Pacha was finally getting the defensive performance he wanted and with the Caps keeper pulled, Nielsen sent a pass forward to Mimar, who glided towards goal and tapped it in at 58:37. A 7-4 victory for Dundee had secured the two of the four vital points they need from this weekend to continue with their play-off push.

Gabriel Lévesque and Edinburgh’s Sergei Banashkov were picked as the ‘Man of the Match’ award winners for their collection of points. Both teams now have to learn from that performance as they prepare to face each other once again. Edinburgh host Dundee tonight at Murrayfield and Stars will be eager to get their first road win in the Scottish Capital.