By Kris Smith
This is Dundee’s first fixture of the 2021-2022 campaign and is also the first of two exhibition matches this weekend, as the Flyers play host on Saturday evening.
Both teams have a fresh look after a lot of new arrivals this summer, but the Stars have kept a hold of key players, such as defenseman, Drydn Dow, who penned a two-year deal this summer and Dundonian winger, Craig Garrigan.
Meanwhile, the Flyers have managed to retain the services of blueliner, James Isaacs and forward, Bari McKenzie.
Todd Dutiaume’s men will be travelling to Dundee with a real hunger to claim the first Tayside Derby victory of the season, but Omar Pacha’s side will be determined not to disappoint their own fans.
Looking ahead to his side’s first outing, Stars Head Coach, Pacha said: “It is the first professional game back in all of Scotland for the last 18 months.
“I expect it to be high-paced and I expect both teams will be wanting to impress their fanbases.
“For us, it is about the things we worked on this week in training and to give a good first impression to our fans.
“We are going to see some combinations tomorrow that I am looking forward to seeing how they do.
“We are definitely a lot bigger and a lot faster, so hopefully we see that translate into the game but at the same time it is hard to say when you have only seen the team in practice.
“However, even if it is a preseason game, we are looking to find aspects that we need to work on before next week’s season opener.”
The Stars boss then shared his excitement to get back behind the bench and playing in front of his side’s supporters.
Pacha commented: “It is really exciting, it feels like a different preseason because it has been so long.
“So, I am looking forward to getting back out there and hopefully we all learn a lot this weekend.
“I know the players are really excited for the first game in Dundee and they know it is going to be close to a sell-out crowd.
“There is a lot of excitement around the game, it is no secret but it all because of the return of hockey.”
Now in his third season with Dundee, defender Dow knows exactly how intense these derbies can be but the Canadian is looking forward to getting back out there.
He said: “We are all feeling good, it is a little sore getting back into it, but we are all really excited to get going this weekend.
“The team is looking really sharp to start and we have a ton of speed which is really good to see, and it is a really good group of guys which has helped us gel pretty quickly.”
He continued: “It is a new bunch of guys for both teams, but I think everyone knows the rivalry between the two teams is intense, so I expect a hard fought couple of games.”
Face-Off is at 7:30pm tonight at the Dundee Ice Arena.