By Kris Smith
The Stars had Saturday night off whilst the Giants travelled to Cardiff Devils, where they were beaten 4-2 and the Tayside team hope to take advantage of that when they return to the SSE Arena tonight, a venue in which they have not lost in regulation this season.
On two trips, the Stars have forced Adam Keefe’s men into overtime twice and once to a shootout but the home side have come out winners on both occasions.
A Challenge Cup group game in September ended 5-4 after overtime, with Belfast fighting back to take the home victory after the Stars had taken the lead three times on the night, only to be pegged back by the Giants every time.
Then on their last trip to the Northern Irish capital, it was Dundee who kept finding ways to equalise in a very even battle and after two periods, the score was tied at 2-2, but the next goal would not come until the shootout, where Ben Lake bagged the winner for Belfast.
Since they last met, Belfast have made a few changes to their roster as Lewis Hook and Josh Roach have re-joined the club, whilst Chad Butcher departed, but the Stars have also since added forward, Johan Eriksson and defender, Chris Lijdsman.
Dundee will still have to play without injured forwards, Ben Brown and Hugo Reinhardt, but also Jonathan McBean who is currently away with the GB Under 20’s team.
Discussing the one-game weekend, Stars Head Coach, Jeff Mason said: “They are a team that is struggling with a lot of injuries and I know they had a few guys come back but they are still quite short-bodied.
“They are also coming off a poor weekend, last week, so I am sure they have been working hard and will be ready to go.
“It is important for us to come our hard and fast and try to play from the front on the road because that is something we have been focusing on, every time we go away and we have played pretty well in that building.
“The last two games, I thought we were unlucky not to come away with both points on both occasions but we have not seen them in a while now, as they were a team we faced a lot earlier in the year.
“We know how we need to play to be successful against them, which is similar to how we play against all teams, so it is important for us to come out hard, start well and go from there.”
Face-off is at 6pm on Sunday in Belfast.
All images: William Cherry/Presseye.