By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars take on Milton Keynes Lightning in their first meeting of the 2018/19 season as Stars play their fourth match in five days.
Last night seen the Stars sink the Giants 5-3 after coming back twice before taking the lead, meanwhile the Lightning were defeated 4-1 by Manchester Storm. Radek Meidl provided the only goal of the evening for Milton Keynes. Tim Wallace currently leads the Buckinghamshire side in scoring with six points but Michael Fine, Andreas Valdix and Eric Neiley trail him on five points from seven games.
The Lightning have lost their last four games and conceded 35 goals in their seven competitive games so far this season, ranked 11th out of 11 teams in the Elite League standings as their season has not had the best of starts but goaltender Patrick Kileen gives his side a chance to win every night. So far in four league starts the Canadian has a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 3.76 and a save percentage of .913 per cent.
His opposite number, Pontus Sjögren has had an impressive start to his first season in between the pipes for Dundee. The Swede has posted a GAA of 1.93 in his first four Elite League appearances and a save percentage of .938 per cent.
Quite a few Stars have been in form this week and so far, Matt Marquardt has recorded six points in three games, including two goals. François Bouchard, Brian Hart and Lukas Lundvald have each notched up three points over the three games this week and will look to add more tonight.
Matt Bissonnette was the only scratch on the Stars line-up last night while Rio Grinell-Parke, Nelson Armstrong, James Griffin and the suspended Rihards Grigors, who is expected to return tonight missed out for Milton Keynes.
Reflecting on last night’s win against Belfast, head coach Omar Pacha said: “I was really pleased with Saturday’s performance, it was maybe not the best game structure wise but guys battled and the powerplay clicked, special teams really won that game tonight.
“Fair play to the guys, they really showed a lot of character, emotion and I am really proud of the guys.”
Talking about his side’s performances over the week, he added: “I am really happy with the way we have played throughout the week defensively.
“Offensively we created a lot of chances but we talked about the powerplay after the game against Belfast [on Friday] and they had to step up.
“The guys responded really well, if our powerplay keeps clicking like that and we play a steady game defensively, we are going to give ourselves a really good chance to win a lot of games.”
Face-off is at 5:15pm and there is a webcast available via the Milton Keynes website.