Trade-Mart Dundee Stars boss, Jeff Mason has shared his overall thoughts after his side completed their two-week long preseason training camp and the American was full of positives to take away from their four fixtures.

By Kris Smith

The Stars ended their first week with back-to-back games against the current Elite League champions, Belfast Giants and lost out 9-4 in Northern Ireland and 5-3 on home ice.

However, Dundee had tested Belfast well and then progressed on to upset Glasgow Clan this past Saturday with a 6-3 victory on the West Coast, before they came home to claim a 5-3 win over their local rivals, Fife Flyers, on Sunday.

Both matches over the past weekend saw the Stars fight back from a losing position after letting leads slip earlier in the games.

The Tayside team were 1-0 down in Glasgow but recovered to take a 2-1 lead into the first break and 20 minutes later, the game was tied at 3-3, but the Stars pushed on to open up a three-goal lead in the final period.

Then on Sunday against the Flyers, Dundee had a 2-0 advantage after the opening session, but fell 3-2 behind heading into the third period, where they produced three more goals to seal a first win front of their fans, this season.

Reflecting on the whole weekend, Stars GM and Head Coach, Mason said: “Well on Saturday night, I was really proud of the whole group’s effort and I thought we executed the systems really well, it was a solid team effort the whole way through and there were a lot of real positives to take from it.

“I was more encouraged and impressed by the way we executed the systems than the overall score line, so a lot of positives to take from Glasgow and then on Sunday, there were even more positive to build on.

 

On Sunday night, the Stars ended their preseason a high with a second win in two nights, as they prevailed over Fife Flyers. (Picture: Derek Black).

 

“Clearly, we took a dip in the second period and really got away from our game, but we were able to get it back and get back to how we wanted to play.

“Also, killing as many penalties as we did, really changes the game plan and means some guys have to play a lot more in those situations, so the kill was great on Sunday and they gave us a chance to win that game.

“Obviously in preseason, wins and losses are not the most important thing but I also believe finding ways to win games is also something you have to learn how to do, so it was really good to see them come out in the third period and find a way to win it.”

Overall, Mason is delighted with the large number of positives he has seen and feels that they can start to build something now as the competitive season begins.

He added: “From day one I have said that we just want to keep building each day to get where we need to be to have success in this league and I think we did that.

“It was a great test for us to come out of the gates with Belfast and see the level we need to get to.

“From game one to game two. we made a lot of improvements and had a chance to tie that second game late on the Sunday and then this past weekend, again I thought we had a really good effort on Saturday and Sunday there were parts of the game that were up and down, in the end it was enough to get the win and again, more positives to build on.

“So, it is about putting those pieces together so you are where you want to be when the games starting counting next weekend and I am happy with where we are at, and now we set our sights on the Challenge Cup.”

 

The Stars are ready for Challenge Cup action to begin as they get set to take on Belfast Giants, Fife Flyers and Glasgow Clan in Group A. (Picutre: Derek Black).

 

Finally, Mason addressed the injury concerns he has been presented with early on, as Dundee lost forwards, Craig Garrigan and Ben Sokay to injury during preseason.

Jeff said: “Obviously losing players to injury in the preseason is never something you want to have happen and we will just have to see how guys are and how things stand at the start of this week.

“It is certainly unfortunate to lose players at any time of the year but especially in the preseason, but there are some things you can control and some things you cannot, so we just have to move forward, set a plan and go from there.”

 

Do not miss this weekend’s home match against Glasgow Clan on Sunday as the Stars get back to competitive action with the group stage of the Challenge Cup. Get your tickets NOW!

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
34 Games
9 Wins
21 Losses
4 OT Losses
22 Points