By Kris Smith
Kitmart Dundee Stars are plotting a return to winning ways with a fifth straight victory over their biggest rivals on Boxing day.
Stars take-on Fife Flyers in the third East Coast Derby double header of this season and after winning the first four ties of this campaign, Omar Pacha’s side will have some much-needed confidence going into the boxing day match.
Dundee have won the previous four games by score lines of 3-1, 3-2(shootout), 3-0 and 4-3(shootout). Defenceman Drydn Dow has five points against the Flyers in the past four games and forward Jordan Cownie has netted in a single goal in each of the last three matches against Fife.
Fife have two players high up the scoring standings. Paul Crowder sits seventh in the Elite League top scorers table with 15 goals and 20 assists from 27 games and Brett Bulmer has 31 points from 26 games. Meanwhile Dundee’s François Bouchard is ranked in 33rdwith 12 goals and assists for 24 points after 30 games and Lukas Lundvald has 23 points from 26 matches.
Last weekend seen Dundee suffer a double defeat as they went down 4-2 in Cardiff against the Devils, despite goals from Charles Corcoran and François Bouchard before they lost 3-0 on home ice to Nottingham Panthers. To get their fight to stay in the play-off sports back on a track a response is needed against Fife.
In their only game of the previous weekend, fourth-place Fife were beaten 3-2 by their other Scottish rivals, Glasgow Clan. Joe Basaraba put Fife ahead before Todd Dutiaume’s men fell 3-1 behind. Basaraba added a second with 93 seconds left to play but Flyers could not get an equaliser before the game ended.
Stars sit in eighth position and are hopeful to see the return of Connor Cox, Lukas Lundvald and Matt Bissonnette to their line-up for the big double header against the Flyers. Meanwhile Fife were without two of their players in the 3-2 home loss against the Clan, Evan Bloodoff, and the indifferently injured Chase Schaber missed out, along with spare goalkeeper, Craig Douglas.
Dutiaume also brought in one player last week as former Dundee Star, Craig Moore joined the Flyers from Cardiff Devils in order to get more ice time. The Kirkcaldy native made his debut last Saturday.
Stars head coach Omar Pacha knows he needs his side to push on in the festive period and he said: “It is really important, we need to push and it starts on Wednesday.
“We will get some rest and hopefully get a few guys back and go from there.”
Discussing the potential return of his injured trio, he added; “I think most importantly we need our full defence.
“When we have six at the back we are really affective but when we just have five, we seem to be making non-characteristic mistakes that we wouldn’t make with six.”
Tonight’s game in Dundee faces-off at 7:30pm and Thursday game in Kirkcaldy at 6:30pm.