By Kris Smith
The Stars have drifted four points back from Fife Flyers in ninth place and are desperate to snap their four-game losing run, so that they can close back in on a playoff spot.
Dundee were beaten 5-4 at home by Cardiff Devils last Sunday as they went back and forth with the Welsh club all night but came up just short in the final minutes.
Craig Garrigan, Philippe Sanche, Ian Parker and Carter Folk all hit the target for the Tayside team as they tested the resilience of the second-place team in the Elite League.
In the days after the defeat, Head Coach, Jeff Mason added defenseman, Craig Moore to his roster for the remainder of the season as he brought the Scottish blueliner back for a third spell in the City of Discovery.
In his two previous stints, Moore has helped the team make a pair of semi-finals appearances in the playoffs and hopes to have the chance to go one better this year.
However, to qualify for the post-season, the Stars must close an five-point gap to eighth place, which is currently occupied by Glasgow Clan, but Dundee have played four less games and they also trail eight points behind this evening’s opponents.
The Storm have won all three meetings between themselves and the Stars this season, whilst Dundee have gained just one point from the six available.
Just two weeks ago, Matt Ginn’s Storm were 5-4 winners in Manchester as they survived a late surge from the Stars with the Scottish side scoring three goals in the last 17 minutes.
Christopher Lidjsman, Hugo Reinhardt, Philippe Sanche and Johan Eriksson all found a way past Jeremy Brodeur in the Storm goal, whilst Tyler Barrow, Stephen Johnson, Tyson Fawcett and Anthony DeLuca (2), gave the Altrincham side enough for the victory.
Speaking before tonight’s game, Stars Head Coach, Mason said: “If you look at where we sit in the table and the teams that are around us then it is imperative that we win this game and that we take points from teams that are in distance of us catching them.
“I thought there were some good things we did in the last game on Sunday, I liked our special teams but we need to clean up our effort defensively and be much better in transition.
“Manchester is a team who compete extremely hard and you have to match that compete level in order to be successful against them.”
The last time Dundee hosted Manchester, the Stars held a three-goal lead in the third period but would let it slip as the Storm came back to claim an overtime victory.
However, Mason believes things have “changed significantly” since that October tie, he added: “The game we played them here was so long ago and both teams have changed significantly, so focusing on a full 60-minute effort is something we have been setting out to do and it is still a work in progress.
“Starting fast and playing from the front is still something we talk a lot about, certainly having to chase games because the matches in Manchester we ended up having to chase and came up just short.
“So, it is important that we get off to a good start, play from the front and manage the game better in the situations when play runs against you.
“At times it is next to impossible to carry the play or momentum for 60 minutes, so when the play starts to go against you, we need to manage it better to stop the games getting out of reach or digging ourselves into a significant hole, that is too much to come back from.”
Face-off is at 7pm.