By Kris Smith
Dundee Stars play their first match of the 2019/20 campaign tonight when they take on Odense Bulldogs in the first of two challenge games.
These two ties will conclude the Stars preseason preparations and they will immediately begin training for next weekend’s League opener against Glasgow Clan.
Head coach, Omar Pacha selected the Danes as his preseason opposition for this campaign after the success of last year’s preseason weekend against German outfit, EHC Freiburg.
The Stars have been together for just a week but the squad is already starting to gel and the chemistry is brewing.
Meanwhile the Danish Bulldogs started their preseason preparations a few weeks ago and have already played two friendlies against other Danish teams.
The Bulldogs played their first game on August 9 against Rungsted Seier Capital and came out 3-1 winners over the reigning Danish League champions.
A week later they faced off against Aalborg Pirates and despite holding a 3-1 lead, the game ended 4-3 to Aalborg.
Mike Daugulis, Cole Candella and Henry Hardarson scored a goal each and will be ones to watch for Pacha’s men.
Although, Dundee are not short of attacking options, Justin Maylan, Anthony Beauregard and Jordan Cownie are just some of the players that hit the ground running in training camp this week.
The whole Stars squad are moving the puck well and communicating effectively.
The only player that won’t be in the Stars line-up is Elgin Pearce, the Canadian centre is yet to arrive in the UK but his arrival could be imminent.
Stars boss, Pacha wants to see how his players cope with his systems and how players react in a game situation.
He said: “We are getting there, we are just trying to learn our systems as much as possible and trying to get better every day.
“There has been a really good pace in practice but I just want to see where we are with our systems and obviously nothing will be perfect.”
“I need to see how guys react and play with each other and most importantly I want to see guys in game-type scenarios, one-on-one against an opponent.
“We will roll everybody and see how everything goes and try to win the games.”
Latvian forward, Egils Kalns has played hockey all across Europe and knows how the Scandinavians like to play hockey.
Kalns said: “I am pretty excited to start the season, it has been a while since I played my last game, so I’m excited and I can’t wait to get back out there.
“I think it is going to be a fast game, the game is getting faster and faster every year and teams get better and better.
“I think Odense will be a solid team and that will provide a good challenge for us.”
The winger will try his best to give the Stars fans a pleasing start to the new season.
He added: “I am going to enjoy the game because I will be trying hard and I just hope we can get the first win in front of our fans.
“I have heard they are a good set of fans and hopefully there is going to be a full rink.
“The fans give us such a boost, it is like having a sixth player on the ice.”
Face-off times for this weekend’s games are 7pm Saturday and 5pm Sunday. Tickets are still available both online and from the box office.