By Kris Smith
The Stars come into the game off the back of two losses at the weekend and those results meant that they are still searching for their first Elite League points and victory of the season.
A 3-0 defeat away to Guildford Flames on Saturday was followed by a 2-1 loss to Sheffield Steelers at home on Sunday, where Connor Sills bagged the team’s only goal of the weekend.
Whereas, the Storm are reeling from an 8-0 thrashing in Fife on Sunday evening and that came just 24 hours after Manchester had blanked the Flyers 5-0 in Altrincham on Saturday.
Curtis Hamilton, Adam Brady, Finlay Ulrick, Jared VanWormer and Tyson Fawcett provided Saturday’s goals and Matt Ginn made 22 saves to earn Ryan Finnerty’s side a shutout and their first regular season victory.
Meanwhile, Dundee’s Adam Morrison faced 85 shots across last week’s two matches, saving 80 of them and also winning the Elite League’s Top Save of the Week for his stop on Sheffield’s Marc-Olivier Vallerand.
— Dundee Stars👻🕸🎃🏒🥅 (@DundeeStars) October 19, 2021
On Sunday, there was also ice time for Storm back-up goalie, James Downie, the son of former Star and Storm netminder, Colin Downie.
The young-Brit was brought in at 5-0 down in Kirkcaldy and made 15 saves during his 30 minute stint.
Last season, Dundee and Manchester faced-off six times, with both clubs winning three each, and it was always the home side that came out on top in all six games.
The Stars also confirmed to be without the injured pair of Craig Moore and Toms Rutkis once again and the Storm were only missing defenseman, Ben Solder from both of their games last weekend.
Looking ahead to his side’s first trip to the Storm Shelter, Stars Head Coach, Omar Pacha said: “It is no secret that we have had some tough competition in Guildford, Nottingham and Sheffield, but those were also all one-goal hockey games.
“So, we were right there with those teams and again, we have to make sure we are playing hard, playing well defensively and hopefully we can create more offence than in the previous games.”
Then discussing what he expects from his players, the Canadian Coach continued: “It is weird situation, they have had a hard schedule too and have been playing the big teams as well.
“They had a good home game against Fife on Saturday and that is probably what I will take away from there weekend, is how well they did against Fife.
“So, it is going to be a huge challenge and we are competing against them in the standings year in year out.
“If we go there with a purpose, we might get a result that will favour us but we have to make sure we play hard as everything is so small there and things happen quickly.”
Stars forward, Connor Sills believes he and his teammates are playing well and that eventually that first regular season win will come.
He said: “I think we have been playing well and we have had a couple of close games in the regular season.
“We are in those games, so it is just a matter of scoring more goals, playing together as a team, playing a full 60 minutes and grinding down the other teams.
“I think once we get that first win under our belt, things will start running smoothly.”
The Canadian winger also insisted that the Stars must take the game to the Storm, if they want to have success this evening.
Connor added: “They won their first game against Fife 5-0 then lost 8-0, so they are definitely a hungry team and they would have got some backlash from their coach this week.
“Therefore, they are going to be hungry for a win and they are going to want a big bounce back game, so we just have to match that and we are hungry for a win as well.
“We are going into their small barn, so we have to be physical, be getting pucks on net, playing up to our standard and playing that full 60 minutes and hopefully we can come out of there with two points.”
Face-off for tonight’s match in Manchester is at 7pm. You can watch the game LIVE HERE!