MATCH REPORT: Manchester Storm 3 – 1 Dundee Stars

Tickets for Storm’s upcoming preseason game against the Belfast can be ordered online HERE, or by calling the Box Office on 0161 926 8782. Face-off is at 17:30 Sunday 15th September.

An impressive all-round performance from the Goodwin Group Manchester Storm secured a comfortable 3-1 win against the visiting Dundee Stars.

The first period saw the hosts applying pressure with a barrage of shots, turned aside by the talented Alex Leclerc; the best of these stops was on the newly signed Storm forward, Mario Puskarich, in the 5th minute of play, an excellent feed from Scott Simmonds found Puskarich free in the slot but Leclerc covered the angle. Although, the next big scoring opportunity of the game would fall to the Stars, courtesy of a major defensive. A turnover infront of Matt Ginn gifted Dundee an excellent goal scoring opportunity. An outstanding piece of goaltending by Ginn somehow kept the puck from crossing the line and the scores would remain deadlocked at zero with the halfway mark approaching.

The speedy forward line of Hughesman-Critchlow-Fawcett had proved problematic for the visitors’ defence throughout the first period and at 8:05 Shawn Boutin was assessed two minutes for holding.

This penalty was costly for Dundee, as the Storm were able to convert on the man advantage through Tyson Fawcett’s snipe. A smart piece of work from John Negrin trapping the puck on the half-boards, leaving the Stars PK unit totally out of position, before dropping the puck back to Thompson, who found Fawcett completely free in the slot. The 1-0 lead from the Storm would remain until the end of the period, as the Stars 1-4 forechecking system frustrated the hosts and the majority of the shots aimed on net were dealt with comfortably by Leclerc.

Photo by All Sports Photography

The second period saw the action pick-up and the number of penalties called increased. Two powerplay opportunities for the Stars were killed with ease by the hosts and when Justin Maylan was assessed a two-minute slashing penalty the hosts were able to roll out their dynamic powerplay for the first time in the period.

It was again the stick of Fawcett that proved decisive, as a good draw from Scott Simmonds found Fawcett free at the point, firing through traffic to give the Storm a two-goal lead with 34:43 played. It took just over four minutes for this lead to be extended, again through the man advantage, thanks to some wonderful zone retention from Storm’s powerplay unit. A pass to the point from Hughesman found Critchlow who had time to settle the puck before firing a wristshot on goal, this shot was deflected downwards by Layne Ulmer and into the Stars goal. However, the three-goal lead would last less than one minute, as a poorly timed line-change allowed the smooth skating Elgin Pearce to drive towards the Storm goal. This drive proved decisive as a neat finish passed a hapless Ginn put Dundee on the board at 39:16 and both teams went into second intermission with plenty to play for.

Photo by All Sports Photography

A cagey third period saw the hosts consistently getting the puck deep into the Stars zone, absorbing any pressure created by the Stars. In truth, it wasn’t a period for the neutral, as the puck was routinely dumped behind the goal, but it was extremely effective the Storm and this type of game-management should already encourage the fanbase. The only goal-scoring opportunity of note fell to the visitors in the 56th minute of action, but this wristshot rung off the crossbar and this missed opportunity took the sting out of Dundee’s attack. Despite pulling the netminder with over one-minute to left to play the Scottish side were unable to muster any ‘Grade A’ scoring chances, as a much-improved Storm D corps shut them down all over the ice.

Man of the Match

Tyson Fawcett (Storm)

Elgin Pearce (Stars)

Tickets for Storm’s upcoming preseason game against the Belfast can be ordered online HERE, or by calling the Box Office on 0161 926 8782. Face-off is at 17:30 Sunday 15th September.