By Kris Smith
The Stars are hungry for another win after losing their last two matches but before that they had strung together five victories on the bounce and currently sit three points off the league-leadering Steelers.
Last Saturday’s 4-2 defeat away to Coventry Blaze was followed by a 5-2 home loss to Cardiff Devils on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Sheffield secured their second straight win as they beat Guildford Flames 7-2 in Surrey at the weekend and then Manchester Storm 4-2 at home in the Challenge Cup, during the mid-week.
The Stars only previous meeting with the Steelers ended in a 3-0 defeat but the Tayside team had kept it close right until the end, as they tested Aaron Fox’s men down in Yorkshire, but Mithcell Balmas and Josh Nicolls (2) goals gave the home side the two points.
Reflecting on Wednesday’s defeat and what his side must change against Sheffield to avoid a similar outcome, Stars Head Coach, Marc LeFebvre said: “It is simply not making those critical errors at those critical moments.
“There was less than five minutes to go in the second period, it is a 1-0 game and we were still in it, still creating chances and then three turnovers end up in the back of our net.
“They are three uncharacteristic turnovers that we have not been doing for the past month or so, that is why we have been getting the results we have but against a team like that, they will punish you for those kinds of opportunities.
“If you are only 1-0, maybe 2-0 going into the third period, you give yourself a chance but 4-0 is a large mountain to climb.
“We did not quit, we gave ourselves a bit of chance by getting some timely goals in the third but obviously it was too little too late and that three-minute collapse made the difference in that hockey game.”
Discussing tonight opponents, he continued: “They are in first place for a reason, we know it will be a tough challenge for us but we want those opportunities.
“Because if we want to win any trophies this season then that is a team we will have to beat and we are looking forward to the challenge.”
Dundonian forward, Craig Garrigan has been a part of numerous Stars teams that have defeated the Steelers and looking ahead to tonight’s match, he said: “Sheffield is always a tough game, they are a highly skilled, fast-paced team and probably one of the most in form teams right now.
“You can see within the league table that it is so tight, that anyone can beat anyone on any given night it just depends which team turns up and plays the better game.
“They are top of the league for a reason but there is no reason why we cannot go out there and beat them.
“We just have to play a full 60-minutes and I feel that was our biggest issue in Wednesday’s games as we kind of collapsed for a five-minute spell in the second period and when you are playing against any team in this league, you need to be dialled in for the full 60-minutes.
“So, if we can play the right way for the full game then we should come out with the right result.”
Face-off for tonight’s home game is at 7pm.
All images: Derek Black.