MANCHESTER STORM 3 – 6 DUNDEE STARS
Manchester Storm saw the fate of their Playoff destiny all but desert them after a 6-3 home loss to fellow playoff contenders the Dundee Stars at the Altrincham Ice Arena this past Saturday, with the Storm’s hopes of a playoff place hanging by a thread after defeat. The Stars battled back from going two-goals down to then netting three unanswered goals in both the second and third periods to all but book their place in the post season.
Storm boss Omar Pacha all week had asked for the Manchester fans to be the the sixth man out on the ice for the home side ahead this crunch game with Dundee, but with the fans making plenty noise for their side, it saw the home side needing to do their bit too. Things were going well in the first period for the home side with the Storm laying some big hits and looking motivated against a side that had bloodied their nose a fair few times this year.
Manchester led bang on the 10 minute mark through a Cody Cartier slapshot, after Omar Pacha managed to push the puck out towards the Canadian forward and he drilled it past Joe Fallon in the Dundee goals for a 1-0 lead. Cartier then doubled the lead for the home side on the powerplay minutes later, when a beautifully worked move by the Storm special teams unit all working together and saw Matt Bissonnette playing a pass across the face of goal for Cartier to cash in on and make it 2-0 at 12.47.
Early on in the second period it saw the turning point of the game, with Storm Captain Trevor Johnson and Stars Scott Brannon tangling off the play and saw the Manchester man down after the incident, before Johnson then made a beeline for Brannon and had both exchanging punches with the Manchester man getting the better of the exchanges in the altercation. Following the incident Omar Pacha talked himself into a a 10 minute misconduct call for abuse of official and saw Johnson picking up an extra two minutes for his actions.
This led to Dundee being on a powerplay and that handed the Stars a lifeline to get back in the game and saw Felix Poulin snapping a quick release shot from the blue line to cut the deficit in half at a 24.09. Manchester was becoming a bit ill-disciplined as the period went on and saw former Stars player Paul Swindlehurst serving a cross checking penalty and that allowed Kevin Bruijsten to tie the game up at two at 29.59 and make it all square again.
The home side had completely undone all their good work in the first period through a lack of ill-discipline and were also masters of their own downfall too, when a careless pass towards the penalty box saw Joey Sides jumping on a puck just as his penalty expired and the Dundee man played an nice pass across far side for Bruijsten to fire one time into the cage for a 3-2 Stars lead.
In the third it saw Cody Cartier completing his hat trick with a nice wrist shot through traffic that beat Fallon over the shoulder and saw the caps hitting the ice for the second week running at the Altrincham Ice Arena, as the Storm tied it up at 3-3.
With just under seven minutes to play it saw Felix Poulin then firing in from the point to reestablish the lead for the visiting side and that was the back breaker in the game as the Stars looked comfortable from that point onwards.
Two late empty net goals by Justin Faryna and a third for Kevin Bruijsten saw him claiming a hat trick and finishing off the Storm with nine-seconds remaining and that was game set and match for Dundee.
Manchester now face the daunting task of travelling to the N.I.C in Nottingham on Wednesday night and knowing that nothing less than victory will do for the Altrincham based side, or it i will season over. History suggests it is a tough task, with the Storm having yet to win in Nottingham in their near two-year existence.
Manchester: Cody Cartier 3+0, Omar Pacha 0+1, Dallas Ehrhardt 0+1, Darian Dziurzynski 0+1, Paul Phillips 0+1, Matt Bissonnette 0+1
Dundee: Kevin Bruijsten 3+1, Felix Poulin 2+0, Justin Faryna 1+1, Vinny Scarsella 0+3, Cale Tanaka 0+2, Joey Sides 0+2, Brett Switzer 0+1, Mikael Lidhammar 0+1
Penalties / Powerplays
Manchester: PIMS 31 PP 1-4
Dundee: PIMS 17 PP 3-6
Manchester: Mike Clemente – 33 shots 29 saves (87.9%)
Dundee: Joe Fallon 29 shots saves 26 (89.7%)