Evening Telegraph (First Edition)
Stunning win for Stars
DUNDEE Stars pulled off a huge upset last night by turning over the Panthers 5-1 at Nottingham to boost their chances of sneaking into the play-offs.
Prior to face-off, the Stars regained Kris Inglis to the line-up, but lost fellow-blueliner Chris Lidjsman to illness and he joined injured Swedish forward Romans Semjonovs in missing out.
Jeff Mason’s side wanted a quick start on their final visit to the Motorpoint Arena and they did just that as Johan Eriksson fired them ahead on four minutes.
Ryan Verrier slung a late pass across the face of the goal and it found Eriksson parked on the edge of Alex Dubeau’s crease, where he turned home the opener.
The Taysiders kept the pressure on and doubled their lead in the 13th minute when Eriksson’s effort on goal was partially stopped by the Panthers goalie and Ben Sokay pounced to tap in the loose puck.
The Stars had kept good control in the first period and had led the play well, but when Nottingham received their second powerplay chance of the period, Tanner Sorenson cashed in with 48 seconds left on the clock.
With Dundee’s Craig Moore in the box for a slashing foul, the home side built up the play before finding the back of the net as they played a series of quick passes and eventually one combination found Sorenson on a swift sideto-side move and he rifled past the diving Brython Preece.
In the second period, Dundee extended their lead on 24 minutes, when Philippe Sanche played Hugo Reinhardt through on a breakaway. The Swedish forward saw his first attempt saved by Dubeau, but he reacted quickly to control the puck and chip it back over the Nottingham netminder as he tried to make the second save on the left post.
Corey Neilson’s side could have fallen three goals behind when ex-Stars captain Fabrizio Ricci was sent to the sin bin for tripping inside 28 minutes, but the Panthers’ penalty killing unit kept them within a two-goal range.
Both goalies then produced top save after top save, keeping the game close. However, just as the second stanza was coming to an end, Dundee made a late push and managed to add a fourth goal in the 40th minute, with Sokay netting his second of the night.
The Canadian forward got in close on goal, but was unable to beat Dubeau with his first effort. However, he quickly fired the puck back in and it slipped under the Panthers keeper to make it 4-1.
In the third session, the home team came out swinging and tried hard to hunt down a route back into the game. With less than 10 minutes to play, though, Stars pushed forward again and looked to put the game to bed.
In the 54th minute, in-form forward Sanche bagged the goal to secure a massive two points for Dundee. They made a quick move forward where Reinhardt picked out his line-mate with another cross-goal pass, which gave Sanche an easy finish past Dubeau on 54 minutes.
Mason’s men are just six points off the play-off spots, with two games in hand over the current occupiers of the final spot, Glasgow Clan.
The Stars face Guildford Flames in back-to-back games this weekend, starting off in Dundee.