The Kitmart Dundee Stars are aiming to continue their surge up the Elite League table by securing two more vital wins that could see them rise into the top five.

Tickets are still on sale for tonight’s massive game, buy yours online NOW or from the Dundee Ice Arena Box Office. The Box Office is open NOW and doors open around 6pm!

By Kris Smith

The Stars currently sit seventh in the standings after last weekend’s triumphs over Coventry Blaze and Sheffield Steelers, but sit just two points behind Guildford Flames and Glasgow Clan.

A 3-0 shutout against the Blaze, last Saturday was followed up by a 3-2 victory against the league-leading Steelers and it also ended the Yorkshire club’s nine-match unbeaten run.

Now Omar Pacha and his Dundee side are looking to make it three wins on the bounce and four league victories on the spin as they host Manchester Strom on Saturday evening, before making their final regular season trip to Nottingham Panthers, on Sunday.

The Stars have taken eight points from their last five league fixtures and will be heavy favourites to continue that form against the Strom, as Ryan Finnerty’s men are without a win in their last seven matches.

Since their last win on New Years Day, Manchester have scored just 17 goals compared to their 36 conceded.

The two sides have also split their series so far this season at two wins a piece, with the home team winning every game.

Scorelines of 6-2 and 4-3 favoured the Altrincham side down south, but 3-2 and 4-1 results in Scotland gave the Stars their chance to kick-start their season.

In the latest match-up, just 16 days ago, Charlie Combs and Manchester’s Tyson Fawcett had the two clubs level for a while, before Connor Sills put Dundee back in front, with Dillon Lawrence and Sebastian Bengtsson adding some late goals to secure the points.

Then tomorrow afternoon, Pacha takes his troops to the Motorpoint Arena for the final time in the regular season and they will have the goal of finishing what they started.

In two previous visits to Nottingham, the Stars have lost by just a single goal as they were beaten 2-1 and suffered a 5-4 overtime defeat.

However, they feel ready and confident of claiming both points from Sunday’s tie after they have beaten the Panthers twice in their last two clashes, with a 4-1 victory and 5-4 overtime win in Dundee.

In the last game, the Stars opened up a two-goal lead through Philippe Sanche and Bengtsson, before a Robbie Baillargeon brace tied the score.

Dundee’s Spencer Dorowicz and Markus Kankaanperä then restored their two-goal cushion, but the Panthers pegged them back once again through Matthew Myers and Aaron Thow.

However, just 29 seconds into extra time, Sanche bagged the winner for Dundee and since that night when the Stars ended Nottingham’s four-match winning run, they have now slipped to three straight losses.

The Stars had been down two defenseman and one of their top forwards through injury during last weekend, as Kris Inglis, Michael Poirier and Gabriel Desjardins all missed out.

However, after missing the last 17 games with a nasty knee injury, Inglis has now been cleared to return to action and forward, Desjardins, could be cleared to play on Saturday morning.

Speaking ahead of his big return, Inglis said: “I cannot wait to be back out in front of our fans.

“Picking up an injury like I did has it is ups and downs, but thankfully the club were nothing but supportive with me and got me the necessary treatment as soon as possible to get me back to where I am today.”

Looking ahead to their first challenge of the weekend against the struggling Storm, the 23-year-old said:  “We had a huge weekend last week, picking up maximum points, so there is a great feeling in this locker room at the moment.

“However, we are not thinking about Manchester’s form, because we know they are dangerous at any time and especially when they will be playing desperate.

“They always work hard and will give us a good game, so it will be another tough battle.”

The Dundonian then discussed Sunday’s trip to Nottingham and added: “Each game in Nottingham has been a great encounter with both teams putting on great performances.

“Coming so close on both occasions only makes us hungrier to come out of that building with the two points.”

“We had a huge weekend last week, picking up maximum points, so there is a great feeling in this locker room at the moment and we truly believe that we can beat anyone in the league especially at home in front of all our fans again.

“We are not thinking about Manchester’s form, because we know they are dangerous at any time and especially when they will be playing desperate.

“They always work hard and will give us a good game, so it will be another tough battle.”

Face-off for tonight’s home game is at 7pm.

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
20 Games
6 Wins
12 Losses
2 OT Losses
14 Points