By Kris Smith
The Stars welcome their cross-river rivals for the third time this season and for only the second time in league-play, with Dundee holding an unbeaten record against the Flyers in the league, with three wins from three.
Dundee have beaten Fife twice in Kirkcaldy, winning 6-4 and 4-2 over the water before taking a 10-1 victory against an injury-stricken Flyers side on December 27, which was their last encounter.
Marc LeFebvre’s men currently occupy sixth-place in the Elite League table and are eight points clear of Fife, who sit ninth but they did snap the league leading, Sheffield Steelers perfect away record with a 2-1 home win over the Yorkshire outfit last weekend.
The Steelers then responded with a 6-4 victory in Sheffield, whilst the Stars were beaten 7-4 in Cardiff by the Devils and then came home to take a 5-1 win over Nottingham Panthers.
Anthony Rinaldi, James Phelan and Carter Johnson (2) all found the back of the net in Wales before Ryan Valentini, Spencer Naas, Jonathan McBean and Rinaldi scored against the Panthers.
Rinaldi also leads his team in point scoring against the Flyers with eight goals and three assists in five fixtures, whilst Fife’s Kyle Osterberg has bagged three goals and five assists to lead the Flyers against Dundee.
Looking ahead to tonight’s Tayside Derby, Stars Head Coach, LeFebvre said: “We are treating it like a regular game, we know what is at stake and we just have to keep them as far away from us as possible.
“Every point counts and there are no bigger games than against your rival, so we have to nullify their speed, they have a lot of skill upfront and we have to make them play defence.
“They are not a team who likes to play defence and they do not have a big defensive-core back there, so we have to make them play in their own zone for most of the night, limit out turnovers and make sure they are not getting in behind us.
“They love to play a run’n’gun style of hockey and we have to limit that.”
Also discussing Sunday’s visit to Sheffield, he continued: “If we want to do anything this year then we have to find a way to beat them at some point and they are a good team, who are in first place for a reason, so we look forward to that challenge again.
“To beat them, everything has to be clicking for you and against that team you cannot afford to make mistakes, they are so much better than anybody else from what I have seen and right now, it does not look like anything can stop them unless you put everything together correctly in one night.
Dundee forward, Brendan Harms then gave his thoughts ahead of the Tayside Derby, adding: “We are excited!
“It is obviously a big game for our pride night but also it is against our biggest rivals.
“We know they have some more guys healthy again, so will have more of a full roster this time around and it is going to be a big game and we are excited for it.
“They are a team that works hard, they are good offensively and their goalies are good as well, I am not sure who will be starting but for us, we just have to stick to our gameplan and play hard at both ends of the rink.
“If you turn the puck over against them then they can capitalise pretty well, so if we can just manage the puck well against them and play well offensively, then we will have success.”
Face-off for tonight’s home game is at 7pm.
All images: Derek Black.