By Kris Smith
Tonight, the Tayside team meet Belfast for the first time in league action this season and after four meetings in the Challenge Cup, Dundee won once at home and forced the Giants into a shootout in their last match.
Belfast’s leading scorer against Dundee is David Goodwin with four goals in four games, while Connor Sills, Charlie Combs and Gabriel Desjardins have each netted a pair against the Northern Irish club.
Last night, the Stars came up just short against Manchester Storm, as they put up a tough fight in a 4-3 loss, while being five imports short.
Despite, Charlie Combs sending Dundee into an early lead, the Storm drew level just minutes later via Adam Brady’s low strike.
However, after Dundee hit some major penalty trouble, Manchester would score three times on the powerplay to open up a 4-1 lead by the 30-minute mark, with the goals coming from Curtis Hamilton, Jared VanWormer and Cameron Critchlow.
Following a heavy hit into the boards by Dundee’s Connor Sills, the Stars forward was thrown out of the game for boarding and in the following minutes, the physical play intensified resulting in two fights.
The first pair to drop the gloves were Michael Poirier and Manchester’s Tyson Fawcett, after a hard and high hit by Poirier to the falling Tayler Thompson.
Then, each team’s enforcers went toe-to-toe as Dundee’s Kyle Haas stepped up to take on Linden Springer as he went after Combs behind the play.
Once things had calmed down and hockey was once again the main focus, the Scottish side slowly began to dominate the game again, like they had in the opening minutes.
Although, they would not see any reward until the 49th minute, when Dillon Lawrence picked out the bottom right corner of James Downie’s goal.
Omar Pacha then gambled in the final minutes with his side two goals behind and exchanged his goalie for an extra attacker, which immediately paid off as Spencer Dorowicz lifted the puck into the net.
With 80 seconds left to play, it was a one-goal game and Dundee once again went on full-out attack, however strong defending and selfless plays by the Storm defence would keep their 4-3 lead intact until the final buzzer.
Meanwhile, the Giants have not played since last Sunday, when they beat Glasgow Clan 3-2 in the Braehead club’s first game since 2020.
Looking ahead to tonight’s clash, the Stars leading point scorer, Combs discussed how the team have matched-up with Belfast so far this season and what they keys to earning a win will be.
He said: “We have played Belfast a handful of times, so we know how they like to play and they know how we like to play.
“So, it is just going to come down to playing that full 60 minutes, working hard and playing the right way, by making sure we are playing smart in all three zones.”
Tonight’s home match will face-off at 5pm.