The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars are aiming to bounce back defeat and claim their first points of 2023, as they face Belfast Giants for the second time in as many nights.

By Kris Smith

The Stars can stop a two-game losing streak extending to three tonight if they can overcome the Giants in their penultimate meeting with the Northern Irish club in the regular season.

Last night, Dundee visited Belfast for their final road game in the SSE Arena and managed to take a 2-0 lead in the first period, as Johan Eriksson’s back post finish gave them an early lead, before Drydn Dow doubled their advantage on the powerplay.

However, just as it looked like the Stars would take their lead into the first break, Steve Owre hit back for the Giants and started what would be a five-unanswered-goal comeback.

Darik Angeli would net the equaliser and the two teams headed into the third period tied but Lewis Hook, Owre and Will Cullen would all find the net to give the home team the 5-2 win.

Dundee were only missing two-way forward, Jonathan McBean from last night’s game and are set to ice the same line-up tonight.

Reflecting on last night’s performance, Stars Head Coach, Jeff Mason said: “I really liked our first period, we executed the gameplan exactly how we wanted to but a costly mistake at the end gave the Giants life going into the second.

“In the second, I thought we were on the back of our heels a bit and got away from doing what we wanted to do, that said we probably had three of four ‘Grade-A’ chances that with any luck find the back of the net and we are going into the third with a lead.

“A 2-2 hockey game after two, we have to find a way to start eliminating mistakes that cost us games, because we are in games and it is little details that we have to correct going forward.”

The Stars boss then continued: “We wanted to establish our game and our identity last night and try to carry that over into tonight, obviously with back-to-back games and the travel in between things can change.

“We would like to improve our home form and structurally I think we have been much better over the last few weeks, it is just individually within the systems, we need to get some better performances.”

Forward, Johan Eriksson netted his seventh goal in 16 games, but also the clubs 100th goal of the season last night and the Swede spoke about his start to life as a Star.

He said: “Everything has been great since I arrived, we all just want to win some more games and that is all we are focusing on.

“I have enjoyed my time so far, everything has been really good and I am happy to be hear and looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Johan then added: “Everything has to be good both on and off the ice for you to succeed and that is just what it has been for me, I am really happy with my start but I want to these goals translate in to wins.

“We know Belfast are a good team and we just have to focus on ourselves, play our game our way and hopefully we can get ourselves into the lead again, but we need to work harder to win games.”

Face-off for tonight’s home game is at 7pm.

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