By Kris Smith
The Stars have won two out of the three derbies so far this season but both wins did come through in Kirkcaldy, as Dundee won 3-0 and 4-2, whilst Fife were 5-2 victors at the Dundee Ice Arena.
On target for the Stars in the first three matches were Philippe Sanche (3), Elijiah Barriga (2), Romans Semjenovs (2), Ryan Verrier and Chris Gerrie, while Janne Kivilahti (4), Chris Lawrence, Zach Phillips and Lucas Sandstrom found the net for Fife.
Jeff Mason’s side have scored on three of their 16 powerplays against the Flyers and hit 98 shots on targets, compared to the Flyers one powerplay goal in 15 attempts and 66 shots on goal.
Only two points separate the two clubs that sit either side of the River Tay with the Kirkcaldy side in seventh and the Stars holding eighth.
Dundee last played on Thursday night as they lost 4-0 away to Coventry Blaze after beating Cardiff Devils 5-3 at home, a week ago.
Meanwhile, Todd Dutiaume’s men won both of their matches last weekend with a 2-1 away win over Glasgow Clan and a 6-1 home victory against Nottingham Panthers.
The Stars are expected to have a full squad available for selection tonight with new signing, Johan Eriksson in contention to make his debut after the forward joined from Guildford Flames, where he scored five goals and posted six assists in 18 games.
Reflecting on Thursday’s performance against Coventry, Stars Head Coach, Mason said: “We did not work hard enough to get to the scoring areas and generate enough offensively to really test (Coventry goalie, Paavo) Holsa.
“However, I thought we started the game pretty and our forecheck was very effective but as the game went on we got away from that and were not putting them under enough pressure.
“We made a few key mistakes that led to goals against and that determined the result.”
With Dundee’s defensive performances improving game on game, Mason continued: “We have been better in the defensive zone, which is a positive but we need to try and limit the number of mistakes, certainly off the rush that have cost us, yet structurally we have been playing better.
“So, we still need to find a way to cut down a couple more goals against each game and find a way to generate some more offence.”
Then turning his focus to tonight’s Derby, he added: “They are a team that is playing well right now and we have to find a way to find that consistency that has eluded us all year.
“If we can take the game to Fife and get in on the forecheck, limit their time and space then we should be able to replicate the success that we had last weekend against Cardiff.
“Again, we will need a full 60-minute effort from everyone in the line-up and it starts right from the first face-off and our starts have been something that have plagued us a bit throughout the year.
“We do not want to be playing from behind and chasing games, so we have to come out fast and I am sure it will be a lively atmosphere like always with the derbies.”
“So, we want to stick with the things that made us successful in our last game at home and give the fans something to get into nice and early.”
Face-off for tonight’s home game is at 7pm.