The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars visit Cardiff Devils tonight in the first leg of their Elite League Playoff Quarter-Finals and Marc LeFebvre’s men are not shying away from the challenge of causing an upset and believe anything can happen.

By Kris Smith

The Stars face the league runners-up and a side who they have yet to defeat this season, but the players insist that is in the past as they wipe the slate clean for this 120-minute contest and aim to reach the semi-finals for the second time in three seasons.

The first leg will be played in the Vindico Arena tonight and the return leg takes place in Dundee tomorrow night, with the aggregate winner after 120 minutes advancing to the Finals Weekend in Nottingham.

Cardiff took six wins from six against the Tayside team in the regular season and outscored them 33-18, however every game was either tightly contested for the most part or fought out until the dying minutes, as Dundee displayed their characteristic ability to never give up.

The two teams last met just 10 days ago and the Devils would claim a 6-3 win in Cardiff but not after the Stars had battled back from 3-1 down to tie the game in the third period.



Brandon Alderson opened the scoring on five minutes as he put the home team ahead before Jake Elmer drew Dundee level, but Joey Martin’s strike sent Pete Russell’s men into the first break 2-1 ahead.

Martin would find a way past Lucas Brine again in the second period but the Stars would be able to come back into the tie after defenseman, Chris McKay converted his penalty shot in the dying minutes of the middle stanza and Elmer would also score a penalty shot early into the third to tie the game at 3-3.

However, the Devils replied with three goals in three minutes to claim the win as Trevor Cox, Chad Pietroniro and Martin all hit the back of the net, but this will not be the first time these two teams have met in the playoffs as Marc LeFebvre’s previous two Dundee teams were eliminated by Cardiff.

The first season under the Canadian’s tenure saw the Stars take a 4-2 lead in Cardiff after the first leg of the Quarter-Finals but they would then lose 4-1 in Dundee, to narrowly miss out on their first trip to the Finals weekend.

Although, LeFebvre guided them back to the playoffs the following season and they would make it to the Semi-Finals, where the Devils overturned a 2-0 deficit and went on to win 4-2, before being beaten in the Final.



Talking ahead of tonight’s Quarter-Final 1st Leg, Stars Head Coach, Marc LeFebvre said: “It is a 0-0 game and nothing else matters.

“They have the home leg advantage but we are going in there to win, just like any other game and we are well prepared, our guys know what to expect and we just have to play our game, it is that simple.

“We just have to play simple hockey, that is all it comes down to and it not going to be about skill or who spends the most money, it will just come down to who wants it more.

“Having the will to fight and the sheer determination and grit, that is what playoff hockey is about and what team wants it more will end up winning.”

He continued: “Anything can happen in the playoffs, especially in an aggregate score series and we know they have some offensively talented guys that we have to take out of the game and I am sure they will say the same about us.

“It will be a tough challenge, a physical series and anything can happen in a short series like this, so we are looking forward to it.”



Stars captain, Drydn Dow was part of the Dundee team that reached the semi-finals two seasons ago and discussing what it takes to win a playoff series, he added: “It is important to get off to a good start and make sure your emotions do not get the better of you.

“At the end of the day, it is a 120-minute game so the first game score, as long as you keep it close, then it does not really matter if you win or lose.

“The important thing is staying focused throughout that whole 120 minutes but it is exciting and obviously it is also a new experience for a lot of the guys here, playing the aggregate series.

“So, it is an exciting opportunity, we are all looking forward to it and cannot wait to get going.”

He also shared how the team are looking forward to playing playoff hockey in Dundee on Sunday night, commenting: “It is great playing in front of our fans and we had a great turnout last weekend against Fife, so if they can be loud and proud again like that, then that would be amazing.”

Face-off for tonight’s away leg in Cardiff is at 7pm and you can watch online HERE!


All images: James Assinder.

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