By Kris Smith
This is the first time Dundee play host to Sheffield this campaign and their opening encounter with Aaron Fox’s men is set to be a tough encounter, as both clubs were in action the night before.
Yesterday evening, the Stars snapped their three-game winning streak as they were shutout 3-0 in Surrey by Guildford Flames.
A slender 1-0 lead for the home side was held for 40 minutes as both sides struggled to get the goals flowing.
After Jake Bolton had given the Flames the lead, Paul Dixon’s side eventually doubled it early in the third period, via Chris Gerrie’s strike, before Levi Cable added a third moments later.
Dundee did lose one skater halfway through the game as Kyle Haas was ejected from the game after throwing punches during a stramash in front of the benches.
Now, Omar Pacha’s men will be looking to secure their first league win of the season tonight when the Steelers arrive in Scotland.
With the Steelers overcoming Nottingham Panthers 4-3 in overtime last night, they will be aiming to extend their winning run to three-games.
Sheffield have won six of their opening seven games of the 2021-2022 season and so far, the Yorkshire club have scored 34 goals, while conceding 21.
The Steelers entered the weekend atop of the league and leading their scoring charts are forwards, Marc-Olivier Vallerand (3G, 6A), Brendan Connolly (4G, 4A) and Justin Hodgman (2G, 6A).
The only Stars players who are confirmed to be missing out this weekend, are the inured duo of Craig Moore and Toms Rutkis, who both continue to recover from lower body injuries.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s match, Stars Head Coach, Omar Pacha said: “The reality is, we are going to have a long bus trip home and we are going to have to get our rest because Sheffield are going to come here with a purpose.
“Sheffield have been having a lot of success and scoring a lot of goals, as have Guildford, so if we can stay solid at the back and keep creating chances like we have done over the past few weeks, hopefully we put some pucks in the net.
“If we play well defensively across both games this weekend, then we are going to have a chance to win hockey games.”
Looking ahead to tonight’s game at the DIA, forward, Alexandre Ranger explained how important home ice advantage can be for the team and how they plan to supress the high-scoring Steelers.
He said: “It is really important, especially at the start of the season.
“We have a good thing going on right now and the boys are playing well, so we are going to try and continue playing like that.
“We are going to do what we did well in the last few games, which is just play hard, keep them on their toes, shoot the puck and play our fast and physical game – because that is our brand of hockey and we believe that is what is winning us games.”
Tonight’ home game will face-off at 5pm.