Flames fend off Stars rally to hang on for win


After building a 5-0 lead late in the 2nd period, a near collapse forced the Flames to grip tight on the threads of a win as Dundee Stars scored 4 straight goals to pull within a single before the evening timed out on a 5-4 Flames road win.    


Less than 2 minutes into the contest, Ian Watters collected the starter on a powerplay to put the Flames in a 1 goal lead they would hold through the opening frame. 


Just 25 seconds after puck drop in the 2nd, Evan Janssen doubled the lead, and TJ Foster added the 3rd not long after that.  Jordan Abt banged home a Richard Krogh rebound just beyond the evening’s midway mark to put the visitors in command at 4-0.   At 32:54, while on the powerplay, Foster and Ben Davies moved the puck quickly, ending up in front for Jamie Crooks who immediately tucked it under the bar to make it a 5 goal spread, but Stars pulled one back inside the last 3 minutes thanks to Matt Marquardt. While killing a penalty already, and just 16 seconds from period time, Stars were awarded a penalty shot.  Travis Fullerton made the stop to retain the 4 goal gap, but Brett Ferguson was assessed a slashing minor on the same play so Stars began the final set with a 5 on 3 manpower advantage. 


The Scottish club made the most of the opportunity to pull back into the contest when Marquardt bagged his 2nd of the night while 2 men up, then Connor Cox followed up just at the end of the 5 on 4 to pull Stars within a pair.  They added another at 45:50 through Brian Hart.  A late Flames penalty, and Stars with 6 skaters in lieu of a netminder, gave the home team a golden chance to tie but they were unable to find another ahead of game completion. 


“That was sure a tough way to play the last period,” admitted Head Coach Paul Dixon. “Once they scored that first one on the early period 5 on 3, we just couldn’t seem to stem the tide.”


“For a lot of the 3rd they really hemmed us in, and in the late stages Travis made some very difficult stops to prevent them from climbing all the way back.”


“We really dominated much of the 2nd which helped us build the big lead, and we are very happy to be motoring back home with both points, but we have to find a way to keep playing for the remainder of games the way we played to get in front in the first place.”


“We will take the points and try to get ready for a 3 game weekend up next on the agenda.”


Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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