By Kris Smith
The Stars caused a big upset in their last outing as they became the first team to beat the Giants in domestic play as they defeated Adam Keefe’s men 6-3 in Dundee, last Saturday.
Dundee got off to a flying start when Brendan Harms fired them in front after only 30 seconds of play but the visitors would tie the game two minutes later thanks to Johnny Curran and Jacob Friend would then put Belfast 2-1 up, after nine minutes.
In the second period, the Stars bagged another quick goal as Craig Garrigan’s 23rd minute strike made it 2-2 before Ben Lake restored the Northern Irish club’s one-goal advantage at the halfway-point.
Marc LeFebvre’s men then exploded for four-goals in the third period to firstly tie the score and then power into a three-goal lead.
Ryan Valentini hit the back of the net, just 39 seconds into the final stanza, before Kyle Pouncy would put Dundee ahead and Stars captain, Drydn Dow then netted a brace for himself to secure the two points for Dundee.
The Stars were due to face the Giants in Belfast last Sunday but that match as well as their road game against Cardiff Devils on Wednesday and all other Elite League games were postponed as everyone mourned the tragic passing of Nottingham Panthers player, Adam Johnson.
Tonight, both the Stars and Blaze return to the ice in what will be their first meeting of the season and Coventry will play host first, but Danny Stewart’s outfit are yet to record a win in regulation time.
The Blaze are currently ninth in the Elite League, one spot below Dundee and two points behind with a game in hand over the Stars, but they were beaten 5-1 in South Wales by Cardiff Devils in their last fixture.
The Stars will be carrying one spare import this weekend as new signing, Brent Beaudoin has received his international clearance and could make his debut tonight in Coventry.
Speaking about his side’s return to action and how they plan to build on their last performance, Stars Head Coach, LeFebvre said: “First of all, we have to be mentally focused, we know the tragic events that happened this past week and that is in our thoughts and the forefronts of our mind right now.
“We want to wish condolences to Adam’s family and everyone involved, it was a tragic incident but when that puck drops on Saturday, we have to find a way to get those two points and be focused on that.
“It is going to be a tough game in a tough building, they are right behind us in the standings and we have to build off our win from Saturday night against Belfast and we just have to be ready to come play for 60 minutes again.”
He continued: “For us it is just about building off of last Saturday’s win against a very good hockey team and there is not going to be any easy nights, the SkyDome is a tough building to play in.
“They have some guys who can hurt you offensively and some defensemen who I actually coached in the past in the ECHL, that anchor their blueline and are pretty good players, so they will be coming hard.
“It will obviously be an emotional night for everybody, for both teams and for every team around the league.
“Life is so much more important than hockey but right now we are here to do a job and to get those two points on Saturday night.”
Tonight’s match in Coventry faces-off at 7pm.
All images: Scott Wiggins.