Tag Archives: Dundee Stars

Commentators Curse – Cardiff Devils V Dundee Stars

Each week (or at least after every Cardiff Devils home game) I’m going to highlight a few things I noticed while commentating on the game.

In the first edition of this I’ll be looking at the Cardiff Devils 5 – 2 victory over the Dundee Stars from this past weekend, so with little need of a longer intro, let’s just get into it.

  • Dundee are not a bottom half of the table team

It’s early days in the league so for anyone getting carried away with where your team is in the standings right now, stop it.

That being said I’m going to explain why Dundee shouldn’t be where they are right now…hypocrisy at it’s very best.

The team I saw skate out at Ice Arena Wales on Saturday night looked like a dangerous outfit. Omar Pacha has put together are highly committed and highly energetic team that plays a full 60 minutes no matter what the scoreline.

If you look at previous results (and the result from the following night on Sunday) Dundee have lost five games in either a shootout or overtime. They keep score lines as close as they can, and if they could just get over the finish line first (or in this case goal line) in overtime, think about where they would be. Five dropped points from five extra sessions, if you flip it so Dundee picked up those points they’d be tied with the Giants and Devils for third place in the league right now.

Those extra points could come in handy down the stretch, and it’s only a matter of time until they rack up more regulation wins

  • Lukas Lundvald is unreal

To be honest you probably know this already, but what a talent Lukas Lundvald is. The sheer determination of the guy, mixed with his lightning quick speed and great hands just makes him a lethal threat. Not to mention he did leave the game for a little bit in the first period with what looked like a shoulder injury, but didn’t miss a shift and came back out as though nothing happened, in fact he was better after the knock.

He was an absolute steal by the Stars midway through last year and you don’t need me to tell you how great he was for them last year.

I think he’s better this year. He’s got a full training camp in with the team and he’s settled more, and it was hard for me to look at the ice and not spot him out there. His goal was just pinpoint, and I’m convinced it was only reviewed so the referees could enjoy it before carrying on with the game. He’s a game changer, and may be one of the fastest guys in the league.

Next time you watch Dundee, whether it’s in a rink or on their stream, he’ll catch your eye, and you won’t be able to look away.

  • Ben Blood has great hands for more than just fighting

I’d 100% forgive you if you looked at Ben Blood on your favourite stats site before the season and saw low numbers in the points column and high numbers in the PIMs column and thought the Devils got themselves an enforcer.

Yeah they do…Mark Louis. Ben Blood can hold his own for sure, but he’s not once needed to showcase that side of his game. He’s great with his hands for throwing knuckles, but you need to pay more attention to when he’s handling the puck.

Not only has his skating surprised the hell out of me for a guy of his size, he’s smart on the puck, can generate offence out of seemingly nothing, and you saw that highlighted perfectly on the Devils third goal. With the puck along the boards and with a few guys around him, Blood was able to create space for himself to get the outlet pass up to Charles Linglet, and if you’re open and Linglet is on the puck, he’s always going to find you and he did to set up Mike Hedden for the go ahead goal, but that entire play doesn’t happen if it wasn’t for Blood managing to open the ice up in the first place.

  • Jordan Cownie wants a seat on the plane for the World Championships

It may be some time away until Team GB head out to Slovakia for the World Championships against the worlds best teams, but Jordan Cownie is laying down a challenge for a seat already. He’s in his second full year in the EIHL and after an impressive rookie campaign, his value has skyrocketed with his start to the year. He started on the top line for the Stars and for a 23-year-old Brit with just one full year of experience in this league that’s impressive itself.

He nearly managed to pull of a potential highlight reel goal against Ben Bowns (more on that later) and the maturity he showed on the ice transcends what you would be allowed to say is limited experience at this level. Yes he’s a proven performer in the old EPIHL, but keep your eye on Cownie going forward, he’s going to be a threat every time he’s on the ice and I’m excited to see how his career progresses.

  • Ben Bowns is part cat

If you follow him on social media you’ll see that he’s definitely more of a dog person, but some of the reactionary saves Bowns is able to make are just cat like.

That stop on Jordan Cownie is impressive yes, but to be honest week in week out it seems we’re seeing something similar with Bowns. To be able recover while his bodies going one way, to stop Jordan Cownie who’s going the other is just unreal, but honestly it’s becoming almost normal for him to do something like that lately.

Featured image: CardiffDevils.com

What is behind a name?!

Whenever you’ve watched the great sport of Ice Hockey or Hockey (depending on where in the world you are) have you ever found yourself wondering or thinking why a team has gone for a certain name? Is there any reasoning behind it? Or is it just marketing? Are they good names, bad names or just downright terrible names?

I have gone for a few teams around the British leagues and tried to find out where on earth the names have come from. Some are relatively easy to guess, while some are just clever tie-ins.

Continue reading What is behind a name?!

Dundee Stars 2 – 4 Guildford Flames (What the replay should say)

The Dundee Stars didn’t have a great weekend, going 0-2 in a home and home versus an old rival in the Guildford Flames (we haven’t forgotten the crispy pancake league days).

Going 1/11 on total powerplay attempts and coughing up 10 goals total over two legs unfortunately won’t win a lot of hockey games. Certainly issues of fatigue arose from playing 75 games in 9 days across 13 countries. However there were a couple of high points to discuss and it does seem evident Jordan Cownie is breaking into the top tier of British players in the league which is great to see.

Continue reading Dundee Stars 2 – 4 Guildford Flames (What the replay should say)

‘That’s no a dragon’ – which EIHL team has the best mascot?

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Be afraid. Photo Credit – Gritty’s Twitter

With the announcement of the Philadelphia Flyers new mascot Gritty, something of a debate occurred on the CTP group chat; which EIHL team has the best mascot?

 

I am unqualified to make this decision. All mascots are valid, and bring joy and entertainment to thousands at each game. However, in the words of hit movie Highlander; “There can only be one!”. Who’s mascot will come out on top? What exactly is Lightening Jack?

And just how many people can I make angry in one post? Let’s go!

Continue reading ‘That’s no a dragon’ – which EIHL team has the best mascot?

Manchester Storm Vs Dundee Stars Game 4

The Storm make the long trip to Dundee with just one solitary league win in three games, we lost twice to the Nottingham Panthers, 2-1 on the road and 4-1 at the Storm shelter. In our last last game we picked up the extra point in Sheffield against the Steelers after Rob Linsmayer’s winning penalty shot gave us a first victory with a score of 3 to 2.

Continue reading Manchester Storm Vs Dundee Stars Game 4

Belfast Giants 2 – 1 Dundee Stars (What the replay should say)

Having never attempted it, I would expect being a sports commentator to be very difficult. There’s often a lot going on and the expectation is that you explain it all, live and accurately. As excellent as many of the broadcasters and commentators are across the EIHL, it’s tough to fully go into detail of what happened on a particular play. Perhaps even a scoring play.

Thankfully most EIHL teams post highlights of their games on YouTube which gives fans the opportunity to relive these plays and curse your team’s 3rd line winger for not digging in on a backcheck or failing to chip a puck out of their zone.

For anyone familiar with the terrific work of Justin Bourne of The Athletic, previously Backhand Shelf of The Score, this concept already exists and is executed very well. Not unlike what a video coach would do in a film session with a team, I will attempt to break down the goals of the game and any other play that are interesting enough to merit a further look.

Let’s dig in (video to follow).

Dundee goal @4:30. Matt Marquardt (37) from Brian Hart (88) and Lukas  Lundvald Neilsen (10)

The play begins when Pontus Sjögren (87) steers a shot to the his right hand corner  because he’s a good goalie and that’s what good goalies do. Mike Sullivan (4) beats Hunter Bishop (61) to the boards and chips a backhand up the strong side to Lundvald who is waiting there to continue a classic quick-up breakout which looks almost perfectly like this.

Image result for quick up breakout

However this is where it gets fun. Lundvald as F3,  recognises pressure will be coming from (39) Patrick Dwyer and he needs to get the puck inside to Brian Hart who is supporting as F1 while Marquardt acts as F2 skating through the middle of the ice. Patrick Dwyer has 400+ games in the NHL in his back pocket and Lundvald pops it through his tripod as if he were one of these.

Image result for hockey practice triangle

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Jim Vandemeer (9) decides to go fishing and leaves his assignment which is Marquardt and we have a 2 on 1 with Paul Swindlehurst (23) defending. He half commits to Hart which provides the big centre with enough room to dish it through the defenceman for Marquardt to collect and deposit it top bag.

Stars coach Omar Pacha would have been very pleased. The opposing bench boss Adam Keefe possibly wondering why two players on his roster with 800 NHL games combined just got made to look like jokers. It’s also worth a second watch to hear Simon Kitchen the Giants announcer pronounce Matt Marquardt’s surname as if he’s a Shrek character.

Belfast goal @38:55. Mark Garside (7) from Guillaume Gelinas (5) and Kyle Baun (12)

This play begins with a brain fart from Petr Chaloupka (24). While he has room to skate up the right side if he were to continue as Belfast are making a change, he attempts to play it through the middle to Lundvald.

pass

It’s intercepted but likely feeling a bit guilty, he follows his broken up pass and actually pokes it away. However only as far as Garside who sends it straight back up ice where it came from. Chaloupka also falls and leaves the Stars scrambling for coverage and under attack, not his finest hour.

Sullivan as the only defenceman back now, literally points to the middle of the ice for it to be covered as he takes Baun to the boards with some good positioning. Baun gets it back to Gelinas at the point who then switches it inside to Garside who has approximately 3 acres of space to work with.

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Fabrizio Ricci (43) should be much closer to Garside but was caught deep trying to cover for Chaloupka possibly. Ricci blocks the first attempt but the second one Sullivan paws into his own net in a bit of a freak play and unfortunate for Sjögren who was playing very well.

 

Belfast goal @56:19 Kyle Baun (12) from Guillaume Gelinas (5) and Mark Garside (7) a reverse order of the previous goal, interestingly.

We begin the play with Chaloupka lacking a stick which is unfortunate. Some may say in this situation, a winger should give him one as he is almost useless and wingers don’t do a whole lot defensively anyway, but they’ve opted to not go with that. The aforementioned Dwyer plays a bit of a neat trick here.

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With the Stars clambering to protect the front of the net they seem to genuinely to forget about him. Hiding behind the Stars net he gets a pass from Baun and sends it back to the point for a shot from Garside. Chaloupka, still sans stick, blocks this but the bounce sends it straight to Garside’s partner Gelinas. Who sends a near perfect drive, low for Baun to tip in from the top of the crease.

 

Stars M.O.M was deservedly Sjögren who saved 34 of 36 on the road and battled through many goal mouth scrambles and lots of traffic out front. The Stars so far are competing well enough to stay in games against any team in the league. Another woeful night on the powerplay however of 0/6 was matched by a continuation of the excellent PK keeping Belfast 0/5. The Stars were 0/7 against Manchester and 1/7 in Sheffield this week with the man advantage. Depth scoring and a more clinical PP will be key to turn these close games into points and wins.