By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars take on the Belfast Giants and are hungry for revenge after a late goal robbed them of any points in Northern Ireland last night.
Omar Pacha’s men were narrowly defeated 2-1 last night after a lucky deflection and late winner denied them of taking any points from the Giants in Belfast. Brian Hart set up Matt Marquardt to give Stars the lead in the first period as they once again played an excellent road game, where both teams had a 100 per cent penalty kill.
In the final minute of the middle stanza, Mark Garside’s shot hit the glove of Mike Sullivan and that was enough to deceive Pontus Sjögren as the puck fell into the Dundee net. Late in the third period, a pass from behind the Dundee goal came to Garside but his effort was blocked, before Kyle Baun followed up on the rebound and found the twine.
Both goaltenders had an outstanding game as both Sjögren and Tyler Beskorowany made key saves throughout the game. Petr Chaloupka stood out in Stars back end as he broke up many Giants attacks but the whole Stars defence were all dialled in and working well as a unit in another impressive road performance.
Brian Hart found himself in dangerous positions on a few occasions but was denied by Beskorowany each time, although he made a smart play to assist Marquardt on the opening goal.
Matt Bissonnette was the only Star missing from the line-up as he recovers from an injury but it is unknown if the winger will make an appearance this weekend. Giants head coach, Adam Keefe was missing Matt Towe, Francis Beauvillier and spare goaltender, Andrew Dickson from his line-up.
Defenceman, Connor Cox expects another tough test against the Giants on home ice.
Connor said: “They are a tough team to play against, they play a fast transition game and have some depth in their line-up.
“We felt that we have had good games against them so far this season but just need to bare down on some of our chances.
“When we play against any team we want to win, but especially against them as we feel that we owe them a couple after our first two meetings.
“We just need to go out and play our game, we have a strong team with lots of speed and if we utilize our strengths I think it will give us a chance to win any night.”
Connor shared the players view of how a packed DIA can give the team a boost, he added:
“Every time we can get the DIA crowd going it gives our team a boost of energy.
“So, a big crowd is always appreciated by us and we always want to give them our best, night in and night out.
“They give us so much support and the more people that are there motivates us to play even harder for them to continue coming back.”
Face-off is at 7pm with tickets still available from the DIA box office and online.