By Kris Smith
The Stars take on the current Elite League leaders, the Manchester Storm on Saturday night down in Altrincham. This is the first times the sides will meet in the 2017/18 season, as Dundee require some much needed points in the league standings to lift them off the foot of the table.
Both teams have welcomed big changes, both with new head coaches as Omar Pacha left the Storm for Tayside and Ryan Finnerty swapped the Braehead Clan for Manchester.
Adam Harding and Taylor Dickin also left the Storm moving north across the border to join the Stars this summer. Meanwhile Finnerty brought Matt Beca to the Storm, the Clan’s top point scorer last season. Scott Pitt, Mike Hammond and Jay Rosehill, three of Braehead’s top 10 scorers also followed their coach down south.
The changes made in the off-season by the Storm have worked so far, as they have won 5 out of 7 home games so far this season. Players like Dane Byers who has already assisted 12 times in just 8 appearances and Luke Moffatt who has 6 goals in those 8 games, will be crucial in producing offence against a strong and well prepared Stars side.
Talking ahead of his return to Manchester, Harding said: “The boys are excited to bounce back after last weekend, it has been a hard week of practice getting ready for this weekend’s two big games.
“Firstly a tough road game against the league leaders Manchester, it’s always tough to go play in Manchester in a small rink especially with the big team they have signed this year. That said I am really excited to go back and play in Manchester again, you always want to win against your old team, I’m sure Omar and Taylor will be excited also.”
Brian Hart, the brother of ex-Star Kevin Hart, will add some depth to the squad when he makes his debut for the Stars on Saturday night. Dundee will still be missing two players from their line-up, Anthony Mastrodicasa is expected to return to action next weekend against Coventry and the Stars latest signing Justin Fox will not arrive in Scotland until next week, as he hopes to make his debut also against the Blaze.
Dundee won 6 of 8 meetings between the teams last year, winning all 4 home games, Omar Pacha will hope to continue Dundee’s winning ways against his former club. The Stars scored 28 goals against the Storm in 8 games and conceded 22 over the course of the 2016/17 season.
We face Sheffield Steelers for the second time this season on Sunday, Face-off is at 6:30pm with tickets available at the DIA box office and online.