The Kitmart Dundee Stars kick-off their Challenge Cup campaign with a trip to Glasgow on Saturday night, before welcoming the Clan to Dundee Ice Arena on Sunday night at 5.00pm.

By Kris Smith

Omar Pacha will takes his side to the Braehead Arena with hopes of stealing two points on the road from Zack Fitzgerald’s men and putting themselves top of Group A.

This is the Fitzgerald’s first competitive game in charge and his first as a coach against Dundee.

Both sides are much changed from last season but both are hungry for a win, after kicking off the season with friendlies last week.

Both the Stars and the Clan won on Saturday, with Dundee beating Odense Bulldogs 4-2 and Glasgow triumphing 3-2 over EHC Freiburg.

Sunday night the Clan drew 2-2 before losing on penalties and the Stars were defeated by a late winner from the Danish side. The Stars however won the series, which was decided by a penalty shoot out.

There were a lot of positives for both coaches to take from their opening weekends and there was also room for improvement in some areas.

Both sides have recruited players with notable CV’s and they will be pivotal, if their teams find success this campaign.

Kevin Dufour netted four goals for the Stars last week, including a hat-trick on Sunday, as he showed off his natural goal scoring ability and his raw skill.

Dufour’s line mate, Anthony Beauregard had three assists against Odense and showed his capability to be a playmaker for the Stars and to be a supply line for Dangerman Dufour.

Meanwhile, Chad Rau has one of the most impressive resume’s in the league and can be the difference maker for Clan this year.

Also, under the charge of Fitzgerald is defenseman Jordan Heywood who’s solo move, won the game for Glasgow last Saturday.

 

Stars forward, Craig Garrigan said that the team has had a good week of training and added:

“I feel like this week has just been about preparing ourselves for the two big games against Glasgow.

“We have been working more on our systems, now that the guys have had the chance in the first week to get their feet and hands back together.”

The Dundonian knows just how hard it is to win in Glasgow and expects a difficult match.

Garrigan said: “We know from last season, that Glasgow are a big team to play against away, so we are just trying to prepare for that.

“We saw some good glimpses of us playing well together last week and you also saw that there were still improvements to be made.

“I feel like, coming off of last year, the most important thing was being able playing a full 60 minutes.

“Last season it took us a while to get into the game and our last period was usually our best part of the game.

“So, if we can play a full three period, 60-minute game then I am sure we will be in with a chance of winning the game.”

The team are excited to start playing in games that count now and playing one of their rivals, only adds to the excitement, according to Garrigan.

He said: “It is exciting to play our first two Challenge Cup games and against Galsgow it makes it a bit more exciting because they are a fellow Scottish team.

“We have changed about half of our team and they have made quite a lot of roster changes as well, so it will be interesting to see how we play against them.”

Face-off for Saturday’s game in Braehead is at 7pm and the return at Dundee Ice Arena on Sunday is a 5.00pm face-off. Buy your tickets NOW!

 

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Kitmart Dundee Stars Team
24 Games
10 Wins
13 Losses
1 OT Losses
21 Points