The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars made a winning start to their preseason fixtures as they battled hard for 60 minutes before claiming the bragging rights with an overtime winner, on Saturday night in Kirkcaldy.

By Kris Smith

The packed-out Fife Ice Arena saw a fiery start to the opening game of the 2023/2024 season as both teams were quick to make big hits and play a physical game, however Dundee was the team benefitting most from that as they took control early on and were testing Shane Owen with some decent shots.

The Stars were the first team to run into penalty trouble in what would be a busy night for scorekeepers, but the visitors easily killed off the Flyers first man advantage before gaining a few of their own as Marc LeFebvre’s men were soon on a five-on-three powerplay with Stephen Desrocher and Teemu Pulkkinen both in the box for tripping and boarding fouls.

American winger, Johnny Walker would then break the deadlock on eight minutes as he smacked home the opener at the back post, turning Ryan Valentini’s pass into the Fife net.


Johnny Walker watches his shot cross the line to open the scoring in Kirkcaldy! Picture: Flyers Images.


Just two minutes later, the Stars would again punish Fife on the powerplay, this time Josh Brittain would start the move as rushed forward for a shot on goal, after his effort was saved, Carter Johnson quickly fed a pass across goal for James Phelan to tuck in.

Dundee controlled the rest of the opening period but also found themselves killing a few penalties as some tensions flared after a few big hits, with defenseman, Chris McKay being the main point of focus as he did not back down and took an extra two-minute penalty for roughing up a Flyer.

In the second session, the Flyers would start to find their way to back into the fight and as the two teams kept squaring off for only handbags, Dundee’s Johnny Walker and Sean Allen would both find themselves in the box for roughing and that allowed the home team to tie the score up through two powerplay goals of their own.

First to find the net would be ex-Star, Johan Eriksson as he slapped home a first-time effort on a cross-ice pass from Max Humitz in the 36th minute and the American the found the back of the net himself, three minutes later to tie the game.

The third period was a straight 20-minute battle with the momentum on a knife edge as each team looked for something to give them the upper hand, although both team’s stuck to their game plans and forced an overtime period, despite three chances on the man advantage for Fife.


Dundee goaltender, Kevin Carr was in top form all night as he made multiple highlight reels saves to stop the Stars from falling behind. Picture: Flyers Images.


In overtime, it was end-to-end hockey as both teams went close to scoring and at one end Kevin Carr provided a big stop for Dundee, as he continued the fine form he had been in all evening and the Stars quickly broke forward through Jake Elmer.

In the 63rd minute, the Canadian winger burst down the right flank and cut in towards goal before firing a low shot that would beat Owen at his far post and give LeFebvre a winning start to his second stint with the Stars.

New Flyers Head Coach, Tom Coolen said he was pleased with his side’s performance and the fightback they showed as the game could have gone anyway in the final period or overtime, whilst LeFebvre was happy to win but wanted to see a more disciplined display from his side when the two teams meet again on Sunday evening (face-off 5pm).


Watch Jake Elmer’s OT winner below!


Man of the Match

Dundee: #37 Kevin Carr

Fife: #22 Johan Eriksson




0-1 Johnny Walker (Ryan Valentini, Drydn Dow) 08:06 PPG

0-2 James Phelan (Carter Johnson, Josh Brittain) 10:03 PPG



1-2 Johan Eriksson (Max Humitz, Collin Shirley) 35:18 PPG

2-2 Max Humitz (Collin Shirley, Lucas Chiodo) 38:02 PPG





2-3 Jake Elmer (Unassisted) 62:16


All images: Flyers Images.

Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
54 Games
22 Wins
25 Losses
7 OT Losses
51 Points