By Kris Smith
The Dundee Stars welcome Elite League titleholder, the Cardiff Devils this Wednesday evening as the Tayside team chase three straight home wins.
Following a massive 2-0 victory against the Belfast Giants on Sunday, the Stars are looking to build on their home momentum as they try to climb their way up the league standings whilst being so short benched. Dundee suffered a setback when they lost 5-1 in Kirkcaldy to local rivals, the Fife Flyers on Saturday night.
Marc-Olivier Mimar found the net for Dundee in Fife before Johan Andersson put the Stars in front against the Irish with his 4th goal of the season and his first in the league campaign. Brian Hart secured the points with his 4th goal in just 10 appearances.
A couple of the injured players can potentially return to the line-up this week or weekend as evaluations continue. Dundee might need them as Cardiff have been playing well and sit 5th in the league table with games in hand on every team above them. They claimed a 3-0 win in Belfast on Saturday before demolishing the Edinburgh Capitals 7-2 at Ice Arena Wales the following night.
The last time Dundee and the Devils met, it was an easy 4-0 win Andrew Lord’s men as they took an early 3-0 lead against the Stars. Former Dundee player Justin Faryna got the opening goal against his former club and has continued to play well throughout this season, he scored 3 of Cardiff’s 10 goals last weekend. Matthew Myers, Patrick Asselin and Layne Ulmer also found the net with Ben Bowns stopping all of the Stars 23 shots. Dundee failed to take advantage of their 5 powerplays but still killed off 3 out of 4 of Cardiff’s.
Johan Andersson and Gabriel Lévesque are tied as Dundee’s top point scorers. Both have 16 points, Johan has 3 goals plus 13 assists meanwhile Gabriel has 2 goals and 14 assists. However it is also tied at the top of the goal scores list; Jimmy Jensen, Joey De Concilys and Riley Stadel all have 6 goals this season.
Joey Martin once again leads the Devils in points this season as the Canadian continues his fourth year with the Welsh club. He currently has 12 goals with 15 assists overall this season with 3 goals and assists in the Champions Hockey League.
Andrew Hotham is leading Cardiff’s defencemen in scoring as he has racked up 5 goals plus 18 assists in 24 games. Another Ex-Stars player who swapped Tayside for the Welsh Capital, was Craig Moore, he collected his only goal so far in the Champions Hockey League against the Växjö Lakers, in the Devils 5-1 victory at IAW.
The Devils have are on a 6-game winning streak. They made it back-to-back home wins by defeating Nottingham 6-2 and Coventry 7-2 before winning 5-3 in Kirkcaldy. Sheffield were next to suffer at the hand of the red hot Devils as they fell 3-2 in Wales, then last weekend’s results of a 3-0 win against Belfast before handing the Caps a 7-2 loss.
Whilst missing three defenceman, Dundee’s defence held well against a strong offensive Giants team. Stars blueliner, Emerson Hrynyk said: “It was a huge home win for us, we are
looking forward to it and it is a big opportunity for us to gain some points against one of the top teams.
“It won’t be easy though, as Cardiff is one of the hottest teams in the league with winning their last 6 games.
“We want to continue to improve and grow from the Belfast game and create some consistency with our team and a win on Wednesday would do that, also leapfrogging us over Braehead in the standings.”
Dundee general manager and head coach, Omar Pacha said: “It is a big game against Cardiff, although we are short benched, we need to repeat the effort we showed against Belfast if we want to beat the Devils plus another solid defensive performance and being opportunistic on with our chances.“
Wednesday’s game face’s-off at 7:30pm. Tickets are still available to purchase online and from the DIA box office (01382 431900).