By Kris Smith
Defenders, Craig Moore and Cole Fraser were both added to the Stars squad last week and made their first appearances in Saturday night’s win over fellow playoff contenders, Manchester.
Moore re-joins Dundee for a third spell after leaving the Tayside team at the end of last season to join fellow Elite League outfit, Nottingham Panthers but this would be his first time playing under Head Coach, Jeff Mason.
Speaking after Saturday night’s win, Craig said: “I have been here a couple times already and this will be my third time with Dundee, so it is nice to be back and to get a win that gets things going in the right direction.
“I think we all knew that if you looked at the standings, that was the big one and if you look at the teams around us, a lot of them we can catch.
“So, we have to do the business against those teams but for myself, it was not a great year in Nottingham, with injuries and other things happening but as a team, we were not as successful as I think a lot of people though we would be or should have been.
“However, when one door closes another opens and I am excited for this opportunity back here in Dundee and trying to do my part to help the team push for that playoff spot.”
The Stars scored a goal in each of the three periods and found themselves leading 2-0 with less than 15 minutes to go, but eventually Manchester found a way through the Dundee defences but a late goal would seal the win for Mason’s men.
Discussing how the team put on such a determined performance, Moore continued: “I think it was the desperation.
“All the guys knew we had to win that game and it maybe was not always the crispiest of games in terms of passes and playing the right way, but the guys battled hard and dug deep to find a way.
“At the end of the day it does not really matter how you win as long as you win, so we did that and it is nice to go into the break off the back of that win.”
Also playing his first game in blue, red and white was Fraser who arrived in Scotland a few weeks ago but had to await international clearance before getting involved in the action.
The 23-year-old joins from Toledo Walleye in the ECHL and brings a very physical presence to the Stars back end and after making a positive start to life in Dundee, Cole said: “It was a kind of a relief to get out there and get my feet under me.
“I thought that collectively as a team we found a way to win and it may not have been pretty in certain situations but we made it count when we had to and everyone worked hard, and Anton worked so hard in net, he made a lot of saves and kept us in the game.
“Personally, I thought that it was a good first game for me, my D-partner helped me out a lot with the communication and the same with the guys on the bench.
“They were in positives spirits the whole night and that is what you want to come into when joining a new team, a group that is positive and getting that win feels really good.
“It is a win that we needed and I am glad that I was able to be a part of that win and moving forward, I hope we can continue to do that and do the right things to keep us on track.”
After having to watch his teammates narrowly go down 5-4 against Cardiff Devils last weekend, that only made Fraser hungrier to get on the ice and play his part.
He continued: “I sat in the stands last week and watched the game, but I really wanted to be out there helping the guys out.
“Although, it is really nice to come into a new spot where they welcome you with open arms and that is what Dundee has done for me, the opportunities that I am getting here and the style of hockey that we are playing really suits me well and I am excited to see what the rest of the season will bring for us.”
The Canadian blueliner also shared how he is settling in to the City of Discovery, adding: “I love the city, it is a big difference compared to North America but my wife and I have settled in well, the jet lag took a bit to get over but that was the hardest part.
“The city is beautiful and over this break we are going to visit a few places like St Andrews, Aberdeen and really get to see some of the sights Scotland has to offer.
“I am really excited to continue the rest of this season and explore the country but at the end of the day hockey is what I am here for and that is what I want to focus on and the extra-curriculars are just an added bonus.”
Stars Head Coach, Mason also gave his thoughts on his two new signings first performances, stating: “I thought they both played well and they helped stabilised us on the back end and certainly, Anton played very well in goal but the defence was good round him as well.
“Anytime you can hold a team to one goal you should be able to win the game, so I was certainly pleased overall with the performance and the two new additions, they fit in nicely and I am anticipating more of what we saw this past weekend.”