By Kris Smith
The Stars have home ice advantage in the first leg and will be looking to capitalise on that against the Devils.
Both teams lost on their last outings at the weekend, with Cardiff losing 2-1 away to Guildford Flames and the Stars being beaten 3-1 on the road to league leaders Sheffield Steelers.
Jarrod Skalde’s men topped Group B earlier in the season and that won them the higher seed that allowed them to be drawn against Dundee, who placed second in Group A.
The two teams have already met once this season and it was just less than three weeks ago, when the Welsh club visited the DIA.
Cardiff were 6-4 winners on the night but found themselves behind against the short-benched Stars after five minutes, as Cody Drover netted on debut.
The Devils then pounced on their chances and were leading 6-1 by the 48th minute and their goals came via; Brodie Dupont (2), Stephen Dixon, Cole Sandford, Brendan Mikkelson and Ben O’Connor.
However, Omar Pacha’s side did not let up and backed the visitors into a corner, as they scored three times in seven minutes to make it a two-goal game with less than four minutes to play.
Gabriel Desjardins and Drydn Dow added their names to the scoresheet before Drover secured his brace.
During the Challenge Cup Group Stage, Charlie Combs led the Stars in scoring with a point per game average, scoring three goals and assisting on five more in his eight appearances.
Also, hitting a point per game, was Dundee Philippe Sanche who had four goals and three assists in seven matches,
Meanwhile, Matt Register led the Devils with eight assists in eight games, while Brodie Reid and Dixon both scored seven points (4G, 3A).
Heading into the first leg, Dundee could still be without forward, Dillon Lawrence, who was a game-time decision before last weekend’s matches, but they will still be without Kris Inglis and Alexandre Ranger.
Whereas Cardiff played with a full line-up in their last game and are not expected to be missing any players.
Looking ahead to the first leg, Stars Head Coach, Pacha said: “Cardiff usually come the day before, so I do not think the trip they have is going to matter as much to them, compared to when we bus it down there on the day.
“So, they are going to come in a day early and be fresh, but for us we just have to keep playing the way we have over the last two weeks.
“The last time we played Cardiff, we were missing many guys and it was a close game in the end, but hopefully tonight we will have close to, if not a full line-up.”
He continued: “We just have to play the game shift by shift.
“It is essentially a 120-minute game, so you do not want to get too high or too low at any point, so we just have to take each shift as it comes and go from there.”
Face-off for tonight’s cup fixture at the DIA is at 7:30pm.
All tickets have been discounted to £10 for Adults/Concessions and £5 Students/U18s. You can buy yours NOW HERE! or pay at the door tonight!