The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars begin their weekend with a Scottish derby against Glasgow Clan as they look to extend their point-streak to five games and close in on second place in the Elite League.

By Kris Smith

The Stars welcome the Clan tonight before visiting league leaders, Sheffield Steelers tomorrow and they currently sit in fifth on 29 points through 27 games, four points behind second place and two ahead of Glasgow.

Dundee and Glasgow last met just two weeks ago as the Clan came to Tayside and took the victory after a shootout, claiming their second victory from four games against their Scottish rivals this season.

Defenseman, Chris McKay had got the Stars back into the game after they went 1-0 down in the opening minutes to a goal from Gary Haden and then in the second period, the league’s top scorer Ryan Valentini put Dundee in front.

However, former Star, Charlie Combs then levelled the match at 2-2 in the third period and would score both his penalty shot attempts to help the Clan take the victory after penalties.

Darien Craighead also converted his two attempts, whilst Spencer Naas netted for Dundee and Valentini beat Antti Karjalainen twice on three attempts, with his last go being denied by the post.

Jason Morgan’s men have since lost captain, Dyson Stevenson to injury but forwards, Michael Pelech and another ex-Star, Philippe Sanche are both nearing a return from spells on the sidelines.

Last weekend, the Clan lost back-to-back games to the Steelers, whilst the Stars took one point from an overtime defeat to Coventry Blaze, before going on to win in Surrey as they beat Guildford Flames 4-2.

Brent Beaudoin’s lone goal had Dundee in front but they failed to make their abundance of chances count before the Blaze found a way to level the game and would then steal the extra point in overtime.

However, the Taysiders bounced back with a strong performance in Guildford, where Drydn Dow, Valentini, Tommy Parrottino and Naas all hit the back of the net to secure two crucial points on the road, taking their haul to 12 points from the last 16 available.

 

 

Speaking ahead of tonight’s clash with their Scottish rivals, Stars Head Coach, Marc LeFebvre said: “We feel good, we have picked up points in four straight games now.

“They are chasing us close in the standings and it is going to be tight all season but we are built similar with a lot of skill up front, big bodies on the back end and some good goaltending.

“We have had some close matches with them so far, in the two league games and I expect another tight game tonight.”

Then discussing the trip to Sheffield, he added: “They are all challenges but they seem to have the run of form more than anyone through the first half of the season.

“We know what we are in for, it is always a tough challenge but we cannot look past the Glasgow game first.”

 

 

Returning to the line-up after missing the last eight weeks, Dundonian defender, Kris Inglis is excited to get back out on the ice and he said: “I am buzzing to be back.

“It is never nice to be stuck on the sidelines and watching for a prolonged period of time, especially when the boys have had great success over the last month or so.

“I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and although I have missed a lot of hockey, we are only just at the halfway point, so there is still a lot of hockey left to play.

“So, I cannot wait to get back into the line-up, to be contributing to the team and keeping the success going.”

With his first game back being a rivalry match, Inglis shared how the team are fired up to claim both points after the heartbreak of a shootout loss in the last meeting.

He added: “The boys are fired up, obviously to be playing Glasgow again this week is a short turnaround from before but we do see them a lot through the year.

“It was an evenly matched battle last time and by now, we know how they play but they also know how we play, so it is going to be another good battle with them.

“To lose in a shootout is never nice, it can always go either way but that lights a fire in our bellies to go out there and right that wrong from the last game and make sure we come away with the two points this time.”

Face-off for tonight’s home game is at 7pm and tomorrow’s road game in Sheffield begins at 4pm.

 

All images: Derek Black.

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
41 Games
18 Wins
17 Losses
6 OT Losses
42 Points