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Bengtsson double sends Stars into Playoff semis!

Photo: Derek Black

A double from Sebastian Bengtsson, including the series-clinching goal with 65 seconds to play, helped Dundee Stars to a 5-3 aggregate win over Sheffield Steelers to put the Scottish side into the Premier Sports Playoff Finals Weekend.

The Stars, who were seeded seventh after the regular season, led second-seeds Sheffield by a single goal after the first leg. However, the Steelers started with real purpose and were deservedly ahead thanks to a Marc-Olivier Vallerand shot in the slot on a powerplay with 9:59 played. He then jammed home a smart Robert Dowd feed into the crease to double the Steelers' lead at 14:22 and put them ahead on aggregate.

When Martin Látal's speed sent him through 1-0 to beat Adam Morrison 59 seconds into period two, the Steelers were three up on the night and two in front overall, leaving Dundee with a mountain to club but time to do it.

A double-minor penalty on John Armstrong for a high stick gave the stars a lifeline to get back into things towards the end of the second, and Kalvis Ozols' obliged with a blast past Rok Stojanovič at 37:51 - 2-3 on aggregate after 40 minutes on the night.

The Steelers rode out the rest of that penalty as the game then got a little more nervy. With 7:34 to play, Bengtsson tied the aggregate score when he slid a Charlie Combs pass under Stojanovič. Combs had an excellent breakaway chance to put the Stars ahead overall but Stojanovič pulled off an excellent save.

With 91 seconds to play, Sam Jones was penalised for slashing the stick out of a Stars forward's hands, and that would prove costly for the Steelers. Bengtsson converted another Combs feed to put the stars back ahead on aggregate with 65 seconds to play, and with 21 left Dillon Lawrence found the empty net form his own zone to spark wild scenes among the majority of the 2,157 fans at the Dundee Ice Arena.

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