By Kris Smith
Stars have now lost their last four games and Omar Pacha believes that now is the perfect time for his players to “rise to the occasion”.
Their first away double-header takes place this weekend as they head to Surrey to take on Guildford Flames before crossing the border into Wales to face Cardiff Devils.
Redemption will be on the mind of the Dundee players and head coach Pacha as they look to make-up for last week’s 5-0 defeat at home to the Flames.
Injuries still plague Stars as it must feel like a ‘one in one out’ situation as their team sheet has not grown in the past month despite players returning to full fitness.
Just as Cam McGiffin, Joey De Concilys and Johan Andersson each returned to the line-up, Jordan Cownie, Justin Fox and Riley Stadel have all had to miss games in order to recover from injuries.
Ian Watters opened the scoring against the Stars last Saturday with Brett Ferguson and Liam Stewart extending the lead to 3-0 before the end of the first period.
Jez Lundin made it 4-0 just before the halfway point and Geoff Walker netted a debut goal in the final period for the English side, as Paul Dixon’s men shutout the Stars 5-0.
Justin Fox and Ben Davies dropped the gloves and the pair might go at it again after their bout was cut short when both players fell to the ice.
Gabriel Lévesque and Johan Andersson lead the Stars on the points table but it Lévesque who has taken the lead. The Canadian has hit 15 points (2+13) in the league this season, to edge a one point advantage over Andersson. Stars’ Swedish forward currently sits on 3 goals and 11 assists.
De Concilys, Stadel and Malcolm Gould are the tied top goal scorers as all three sit on 6 goals after De Concilys and Gould each found the net in Dundee’s 7-2 loss to Sheffield during the week. Riley Stadel also leads the roster in penalty minutes with a total of 44 from 18 games played.
Travis Fullerton has been outstanding between the pipes this season and has been hailed many times by teammates, coaches and opposition as they all say that “he gives Dundee a chance to win every night.”
Sadly his statistics do not reflect the heroics he has performed in the blue paint this year, his goals against average has risen to 4.04 and his save percentage dropped to .888, however he does his first shutout of the year after the 2-0 victory against Belfast.
Craig Holland, Dundee’s backup made his second appearance in the league on Wednesday as he played the final period against the Steelers, where he conceded 2 goals from 16 shots. He has a GAA of 4.50 and a SV% of .885.
Dundee will need to be wary once more of John Dunbar who has 14 points in his last 6 games and has a total of 8 goals and 27 assists for the season.
Also the Flames powerplay has a success rate of 33.3% over the last 5 games, Calle Ackered has found the net twice, both times on the man advantage and assisted seven times in the last 5 games.
Flames’ hot goaltender Chris Carrozzi has faced 154 shots and denied 145 of them in the last 5 games where his side have put together a three game winning streak, after losses to the Clan and Lightning.
Ex- Dundee Star Mikael Lidhammar should return to the line-up for Paul Dixon’s side after serving a two game suspension for checking from behind.
Looking to the weekend Omar Pacha said: “We need to get back on track, we can’t control the injuries and that guys are out.
“What we can control is how we adjust and we have now lost four in a row and now is the time to rise to the occasion and show some fight.
”It will be hard but it will be an exciting challenge.”
Dundee defenceman, Cam McGiffin, has previous experiences with the Flames from his time in the English Premier League, before Guildford made the step up to the Elite League.
“Guildford are a pretty solid outfit but with us looking to burst out of this little bump in the road right now, it will definitely be a hard fought battle,” he said.
Saturday’s game at The Spectrum faces-off at 6pm. The Dundee Stars next home game is against the Manchester Storm on Saturday December 10, tickets are now available from the DIA box office.