The Kitmart Dundee Stars welcome Cardiff Devils to the DIA tonight for league action and the Scots are hoping to put in another gritty performance during their ongoing injury crisis.

By Kris Smith

The Stars are set to have a few players return after finishing with only 11 in last Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Belfast Giants, where Toms Rutkis scored his first as a Star.

Goaltender, Adam Morrison and forwards, Dillon Lawrence and Sebastian Bengtsson have been reported as likely to play, while Philippe Sanche and Spencer Dorowicz face late fitness tests.

However, defender, Kris Inglis and winger, Alexandre Ranger both have long-term injuries, but the Stars have regained, Connor Sills after he served his one-game suspension for boarding.

Although, only four defensemen will be available for Omar Pacha, as Kyle Haas begins his three-match ban for charging, but new forward signing, Cody Drover will be in the line-up and ready to make his professional debut.

Jarrod Skalde’s Devils are currently fifth in the league standings with nine points from eight games, which puts them four places above Dundee.

Last weekend, Cardiff bounced back after double defeats to win both their matches, starting with a 4-3 shootout victory at home over Guildford Flames.

The Welsh club then shutout Sheffield Steelers last Sunday, as they put five goals past the league leaders and forward, Brandon McNally took his weekend total to three goals.

Looking ahead to the weekend and going up against one of his former teams tonight, defenseman, Craig Moore said: “Obviously Cardiff is a very different team than previous years with a new coach and a lot of new faces, but it goes without saying Friday will be a tough game.

“I think this year every game will be a battle, as with any team traveling to Dundee, I think you have to try and get off to a flying start and get on them early and get the fans into it.

“It is never easy to come off traveling all day, so you have to use that home ice advantage and try get a quick jump on away teams, get pucks deep and make them play hard minutes in the d-zone, and get pucks to the net early and often.”

He continued: “It is not ideal playing with a depleted roster and we all know how important each game is when it comes to the league.

“However, regardless of results I think it is important to take the positives out of performances like Sunday.

“As a team it is great to see the level of compete we have, but also the potential we have.

“I think we have been unlucky with injuries so far, but hopefully this weekend with a few extra bodies and the support of our fanbase behind us again, we’ll see some good results in our favour.”

The 26-year-old has also just returned from injury after missing the first 16 games of the season with a leg injury.

Expressing his delight to be playing again for the first time since Match 2020, Craig added: “It was awesome to finally get back out there after over 600 days!

“It is pretty surreal to finally be back after what has been a crazy 20 odd months none of us could have imagined, but I guess now I will never take for granted how fortunate I am to play a game I love for a living.”

Face-off for tonight’s match in Dundee is at 7:30pm.

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