By Kris Smith
The Stars head to Surrey off the back of a crucial 4-1 win over Coventry Blaze last night and are looking to increase the gap between them and the bottom half of the Elite League table.
Two quickfire goals from Spencer Dorowicz and Charlie Combs gave Dundee an early cushion and they would extend their lead in the second period through Michael Poirier.
Sebastian Bengtsson then stuck a fourth past CJ Motte inside the opening two minutes of the third period, before Luke Ferrara netted a late consolation goal for the Blaze.
Those two points have returned the Tayside team back into fifth place in the standings and tonight they can finally move clear of Glasgow Clan, who are level on 43 points with Dundee.
Whilst Omar Pacha’s men still hold a game in hand over Glasgow, they face Coventry this evening meaning the right results could see the Stars move two points clear of the Clan and five ahead of the Blaze.
Although, the Stars recent fine form has mainly come on home ice as they have won their last five matches at the DIA, but their last defeat came against the Flames, when they shutout Dundee 5-0.
Also, Paul Dixon’s side are undefeated at home against the Stars this season, having blanked them 3-0 in the first fixture and then avenging a 7-0 loss in Dundee by taking their own 7-1 victory at the Spectrum Arena.
Therefore, the Stars have only netted once in Guildford this season and the lone goal was scored by former player, Cody Drover.
However, one positive for the Scottish side is that the Flames have struggled to find any consistency in their form lately.
The seventh-placed club have only won three of their last seven home games and they were also beaten in their most recent game, as they were defeat 3-0 by the Clan in Glasgow on Thursday night.
Last night’s game also damaged Dundee’s line-up and Craig Garrigan was lost in the first period to injury, meaning he will likely join Drydn Dow and Toms Rutkis on the side-lines for the rest of the weekend.
Defenseman, Kyle Haas was also ejected from yesterday evening’s game for a third-man-in fighting penalty and has been handed a two game suspension, meaning he will play no further part this weekend.
Speaking after last night’s win and turning his focus to the long-stretch of road games, Stars Head Coach, Pacha said:
“It was a really good game tonight, our d-core really stepped up and our forwards played well too.
“It was a great team performance tonight, everybody played well and it was one of those professional performances, especially in the third period, I thought the guys closed the game down well.
“Although, other guys stepped up, Robbo (Caly Robertson) had a lot of shifts tonight and he did really well, Quinn (O’Brien) moved back into defence and did a great job.
“So, we have that versatility in the line-up and everybody can play everywhere, so that is a big aspect of our team and I think that is one of the reasons we are having success now.”
Stars goaltender, Adam Morrison also made his return to action last night after missing the past seven games through injury and he allowed just one goal, whilst backstopping the team to a key victory.
With both Morrison and Brython Preece proving their capabilities to Pacha and with no clear starter identified, the Canadian goaltender discussed how he must prepare for tonight’s game in Guildford.
Adam said: “We just have to prepare to play a hockey game, nothing changes whether you are playing or on the bench.
“You have to prepare and that is part of being a professional, it is about consistently coming to the rink and preparing for every game in the right way and Brython has done that all year.
“He has not seen a lot of action and I would say the reason he was able to step in and perform the way he did over the last three weeks was because he prepares the same way every single night and gets ready to play.
“That is a tough thing to do but kudos to him for that!”
Then, the Canadian switched topics to explain what the team must do to find a way to steal some points on the road in Guildford.
He added; “I think our starts have not been great against Guildford and from top to bottom, that is something we have to sort, we have to come out of the gate ready to play.
“But also, they are a good team, you cannot really take anything away from them, they have had our number this year.
“Although, I think the games have been a lot closer than the score lines suggest and they do not necessarily indicate how we have played.
“That is because they are an opportunistic team and if you give them chances on the rush, then they are going to take advantage of it.”
Face-off time for tonight’s game in Guildford is at 6pm.
Picture by: John Uwins.