By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars are in need of a big home win when the Coventry Blaze come to the DIA on Sunday.
A 4-2 defeat to the Manchester Storm on Saturday night, left Omar Pacha’s side three points adrift from the last play-off spot.
Oliver Paczkowski and Manchester’s Chance Baird had a quick fight after tensions flared between the two, 30 seconds later, Dundee were dealt another blow as netminder, Pontus Sjögren was ejected from the game after punching a Storm player with his blocker during a melee in front of his goal.
With Craig Holland now in the Dundee net, the home team quickly punished Stars as Dane Byers opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Luke Moffatt added a second goal after 15 minutes of play and that two-goal cushion was held by Manchester going into the first break.
Mike Hammond made it 3-0 in the 25th minute but all that did was light a fire inside the Stars side. Jordan Cownie got the Taysiders off the mark after 32 minutes and Fabrizio Ricci’s breakaway goal cut the lead to just one goal, 58 seconds later.
Dundee put the puck the net again but Charles Corcoran’s goal was quickly disallowed by referee Chris Wells. Moffatt’s brace was the only goal in the third period and it helped secure the two points for the Altrincham club.
Last night seen the Blaze lose out at home against the Cardiff Devils and the game went right down to the wire with Cardiff striking after 51 minutes. Coventry conceded again 85 seconds later on the powerplay and the Devils held on to claim a 2-0 win and re-take the top spot of the Elite League table.
Both teams have won two games each and both of Coventry’s wins came at home, while Dundee have won both at home and on the road. Stars have netted 15 times against Danny Stewart’s men and conceded 14 times.
Both Charles Corcoran and Shawn Boutin have scored six points against Blaze this season in four matches.
Stars defender, Shawn Boutin is confident of his team’s chances against his former employers.
He said: “I am absolutely confident, we had a good week of practice and boys are excited about this weekend.
“We know that Coventry have a good team and they compete every night, it is not a surprise to see them in this battle for a playoff spot.
“We just have to play our type of game and have to do the little things that made us successful and play with confidence offensively.
“It hasn’t been easy in the last few weeks, when you are missing top players and have to be playing with 3 regular defenders it’s hard but Pach and Bissonnette did a great job playing D for us.”
Face-off is at 5pm this evening with tickets available at the DIA box office or online.