By Kris Smith
Omar Pacha’s Stars are looking to move back into the playoff spots this weekend as another win would draw them level on points with the eighth placed, Fife Flyers.
Dundee currently have 11 points and are also trying to extend or protect the two point lead they have over last-placed Manchester Storm but they have four games in hand over the Stars.
Last weekend saw Dundee end a three-game losing run by winning in back-to-back fixtures and it started off with a 4-3 victory at home against Manchester on Saturday before they went across to Kirkcaldy and beat Fife 3-1 on Sunday.
Whereas, Belfast were left pointless last weekend as they suffered double defeat at the hands of Nottingham Panthers.
Adam Keefe’s side went down 4-1 and 2-0 in Nottingham with Patrick Mullen scoring their only goal.
The Giants did not have Mullen, Jesse Forsberg and Andrew Dickson available in their line-up last Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Stars played last weekend with a full and healthy roster and they will take the same squad across to Northern Ireland on Saturday.
The Tayside team have won two of the previous three meetings between the sides this season and that includes an away win in the SSE Arena in the first match.
Both of Dundee’s wins came by a 4-3 score line but Belfast beat the Scottish side with a 7-2 score line on home ice in the last fixture.
Defenseman, Drydn Dow has the longest point-streak out of all the Stars players and he goes into the weekend with four points from the last three matches.
Whereas, Anthony Beauregard and Matt Marquardt have accumulated a decent number of points against the Giants this year already as Beauregard has racked-up six and the Stars captain has collected four.
Looking ahead to a rare one-game weekend, the Stars head coach said:
“We only have one game this weekend and it’s on the road, which is massive, so there is no doubt that it is going to be a huge game.
“We have played more games than other teams, so it is important that we build a bit of momentum and we keep this roll going.
“However, if you look back at all our results since the start of the year the big things is we are not doing particularly well against the big teams.
“Against the top four, we are 0-7-1 (wins-losses-overtime/shootout losses), so we have to make sure we get those wins or at least take points off those big teams and it starts on Saturday against Belfast.”
Stars forward Beauregard, also stressed the importance of continuing their winning streak this weekend.
He said: “We need to take things one game at the time, last week was huge for us but we need to be ready for Saturday.
“Belfast just lost two games in a row, so they are going to be ready, therefore that means we have to go to the net like we did last week and find a way to win.”
Whilst the Canadian enjoys playing in the SSE Arena, his recent memory of playing there is not a pleasant one.
Anthony added: “It’s always fun to play in Belfast, their setup is great but we all remember what happened last time we went there.
“So, we need to be hungry to prove ourselves, we need to go there and play our game.”
With the Challenge Cup Quarter-Final first leg being the next game for Stars after Belfast, Beauregard made it clear that the players must focus completely on this week’s match.
He said: “We don’t want to think about the Challenge Cup.
“We have one job to do this week and it’s to win on Saturday in Belfast.
“Sure a win on Saturday will be good for our momentum but we need to stay in the moment and think about Belfast and not next week.
“It’s important for us to build our identity all around the league, we know we can play against anybody, so it’s important to believe in ourselves and play the right way.”
Face-off time for Saturday’s match in Belfast is at 7pm. You can watch the game live HERE
Tickets are selling FAST for our next home games. Buy yours NOW