By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars travel to Glasgow Clan on Tuesday evening with hopes of redeeming themselves after losing 4-3 in overtime to the Clan on Sunday.
Both teams will be treating the match as a critical must win game, with both of them looking to progress with their playoff push. Dundee and Glasgow are at opposite ends of the table with Clan sitting up in fourth and 10 points behind them, Stars sit in eighth.
On Sunday night, Stars hosted the Glasgow Clan in a game that would be tight from start to finish. The visitors opened the scoring through Gerard Hanson as he tapped in a rebound in the ninth minute.
Dundee quickly responded as Charles Corcoran got on the end of long pass and waited out the Clan goalie before backhanding a shot into the net in the 11th minute. However, just before the end of the period, Stars gave up another goal as Guillaume Doucet slotted home a rebound.
Stars quickly tied the game at 2-2 as Lukas Lundvald beat Joel Rumpel one-on-one early in the second period before Matt Marquardt’s powerplay goal sent Stars ahead in the 37th minute.
Hanson’s part in the game ended after that goal as he boarded Lundvald from the face-off and was thrown out of the game and could face a ban ahead of Tuesday’s match in Glasgow. Although, Stars could not punish the shorthanded Clan and they will rue their missed chances as Scott Tanski brought the Clan level before the end of the second period.
A scoreless third period meant that for the second night in a row, Dundee would need extra time to decide the winner. However, it took just 74 seconds for Matt Beca to end Stars hopes of snapping their losing streak.
Beca skated into the middle of the Dundee end and put a quick shot past two defenders, Sjögren and into the top left corner.
Both teams were missing a pair of players on Sunday as François Bouchard and Petr Chaloupka were unavailable for Dundee and the Clan were missing Travis Ehrhardt and Craig Peacock.
The injured François Bouchard has been watching from the bench and he has been impressed with what he has seen from his teammates during their injury crisis.
He said: “I think they are playing well since I got injured and we have been a couple of guys down for a couple games, I think the young guys took over really well and their playing some good hockey and the veterans are doing a good job as well.”
The Stars are deep into their playoff push and with the outcome still very much uncertain, Dundee are still treating every game as a must win according to Bouchard.
He added: “We are taking every game like it’s a playoff game and you can see that the standings are really tight, so every game is a must win.
“I think the weekend was disappointing, obviously having to take overtime and shootout losses but we also got two big points.
“We play Glasgow again on Tuesday and last time it was not really a great game, so I think right now it is a good chance for them to redeem themselves.
“Pacha is well prepared and working hard every day and they will have to be ready for Tuesday.
“The boys had a day off today (Monday) to get some rest after the weekend but then they will be good to go.”
With only seven weeks left of the regular season, the games are coming thick and fast but the Stars camp is confident of securing a place in the post-season tournament.
Bouchard said: “It is a tough league, like everyone can beat anybody and I have been saying that since the beginning of the year.
“Every game is tough and it is disappointing when you don’t get the two points but I think you have to go game-by-game and focus on your next game and that is what Pach and the guys are doing.
“I think everybody is still confident and you obviously want to win every game but I think it is going to go until the end.
“It is going to be a tight battle with only 15 games left but that will go really quick and hopefully we can get in the playoffs because that would be awesome.”
Stars head coach, Omar Pacha is hoping for a better outcome and he said: “This is a big opportunity to get back on track.
“We were extremely close to getting four points at the weekend but now we have to find a way to gain that extra point.
“We need to play the same way in Glasgow and that will give us a great chance to win.”
Tuesday’s match at the Braehead Arena will face-off at 7:30pm.