The Kitmart Dundee Stars can secure their place in the semi-finals of the league cup tomorrow night for the first time in club history, as they visit Glasgow Clan and just need to win to advance to the last four.

By Kris Smith

If the Stars can make it to the Semi-Finals, then it will be a first in franchise history.

In the last two seasons, head coach, Omar Pacha has taken his side to the last eight twice but Sheffield Steelers and Belfast Giants ended those cup runs.

The first leg of this season’s Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals ended in a 1-1 draw after both teams played well but struggled to beat two in-form goaltenders in Dundee, two weeks ago.

Nolan LaPorte broke the deadlock early in the second period as he beat Alex Leclerc to put Glasgow ahead but Anthony Beauregard’s low strike into the bottom corner levelled the game in the 35th minute.

Both, Leclerc and Clan keeper, Patrick Killeen were outstanding for the rest of the game but if not for Killeen, the Stars could have taken a sizeable lead into the next leg.

Omar Pacha’s Stars won both of their Challenge Cup group stage games against the Clan, beating them 6-3 away and 7-2 at home.

When they met in the league, Zack Fitzgerald’s side suffered another defeat as they were beaten 3-2 on Tayside but his men finally won as they claimed a 3-2 victory at home.

Both Beauregard and Elgin Pearce have scored four goals each for Dundee across the five ties with the Clan this season and four Glasgow players have found the twine twice; Scott Pitt, Mathieu Roy, Jordan Heywood and LaPorte.

Defensemen, Shawn Boutin and Kris Inglis will both miss the second leg due to upper body injuries.

The Stars head coach wants his players to keep it simple away from home and just enjoy being out there, as he wants to relieve the pressure that is building on his squad.

“It will just be a simple road game and if you look at all the road games we have played this year, when we have won, we haven’t conceded many goals.

“So, if we want to have a chance to win tomorrow night then we have to play simple, basic road hockey and stay strong defensively.

“It would be huge to get through but for me it is about going out and playing and not worrying about outcomes and what everyone says.

“I just want them to enjoy playing because some guys worry so much that they get out of their game and are not as effective.”

Stars forward, Elgin Pearce insists that they need to get back to the way they played during their winning streak and hopes that more cup success can help the team kick-on in the regular season.

He said: “We just have to get back to playing the way we were when we were on our winning streak, everyone kind of knows we are struggling but the best way to get out of a struggling slump is to put up a good win, especially with how important this game is.

“It will take a lot of intensity and quick puck movement but we have to continue to do things that have made us successful in the past and I think it will be a good opportunity for our team to boost ourselves for the next couple games.”

Face-off is at 7:30pm for Wednesday’s clash at the Braehead Arena.

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