Cardiff Devils 3 - 2 Dundee Stars
Faceoff: 18:00 - 17/02/13
The Cardiff Devils finally broke their losing streak with a deserved victory over the Dundee Stars.
Cardiff dominated the game for long spells but Dundee netminder Nic Riopel was in fantastic form to make them work to the very end for the win. Early pressure by the home side forced the Stars into a series of penalties and the Devils took advantage to open the scoring on the powerplay.
Max Birbraer picked up the puck just outside his own zone and after skating past several players fired in a rocket of a slapshot that flew into the net off the far post.
Dundee had barely had a sniff at goal but just 3 minutes later they scored themselves. A quick counter-attack saw the Stars on a two-on-one break and although Chris Whitley made the initial save from Janis Ozolins’ shot the puck fell kindly for A.J. Maclean to tap in the rebound.
Cardiff retook the lead just before the end of the first period, and it was another stunner of a strike from Birbraer. After Chris Blight and Stuart MacRae had cycled it around the back of the net the puck popped out to Birbraer who took a quick one-timer that was behind Riopel before he had time to react.
The Devils continued to create most of the chances after the break but just couldn’t force the puck over the line despite several scrambles in front of the net. Having been presented with a powerplay of their own after Josh Batch had accidentally fired the puck over the plexi, Dundee once again scored against the run of play when Mike Wrill’s miss-hit shot bounced past Whitley to tie the game at 2-2.
Despite heavily outshooting their opponents in the third period and overtime the Devils couldn’t find a winner and yet again the game was to be decided by penalty shots. Chris Whitley saved Sam Ryhanen’s shot before Riopel did likewise against Birbraer. Wirll’s shot then deflected clear off the crossbar before Mark Richardson fired his shot into the top corner of the net.
It meant Jeff Hutchins had to score but Whitley got his angles right to make the save and seal the win for Cardiff.