The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars are out on the road tonight as they face Coventry Blaze and look to extend their winning run to six games but also complete a third straight, four-point weekend.

By Kris Smith

The Stars return to the SkyDome Arena just three weeks after a 5-3 win against the Blaze in their own building and another victory tonight, combined with other results could see the Taysiders go top of the Elite League.

Last night, Dundee moved into second from fourth by leapfrogging, Manchester Storm with a 4-1 win on home ice and that extended their recent run to seven victories from the last eight games.

Despite, Samuel Tremblay sending the Storm ahead in the final minute of the first period, the Stars bounced back quickly in the second with Ryan Valentini levelling in the 21st minute and Spencer Naas putting Dundee ahead on 25 minutes, with a powerplay goal.

Anthony Rinaldi then doubled the Stars lead to 3-1 inside 50 minutes and James Phelan sealed the victory with an empty net goal in the final minute.

Meanwhile, Danny Stewart’s Blaze have not won since their 5-2 win in Dundee, which also came three weeks ago and have lost their last five matches in between, with two defeats coming in overtime to put them bottom of the table and three points adrift.

The last time the two met in Coventry, the Stars skated to that 5-3 win in the West Midlands with Valentini and Drydn Dow firing Dundee into a 2-0 lead after less than three minutes.



Alessio Luciani would peg one back for the Blaze before Kove Roth tied the game up in the second, but Josh Brittain would restore the Stars lead, only for Kim Tallberg to equalise and send the teams in tied, going to the third period.

Johnny Walker then stepped forward to produce what would be the game winning goal for Dundee, just five minutes from time and Naas would round off the scoring with an empty net.

24 hours later, Coventry headed to Tayside and struck back with a 5-2 at the DIA after Roth, Danny Kristo and then Luciani opened up a 3-0 lead for the Blaze after two periods.

Brendan Harms would strike twice to keep Dundee in the game but Ian McNulty and Kristo would add to more to split the weekend at a win each.

The Stars will still be without injured defenseman, Kris Inglis tonight and the Blaze played their last game with a full line-up, but have the choice between two import goalies, with Nolan Kent available or Taran Kozun, who played both previous games against Dundee.



Speaking after last night’s victory, Stars Head Coach, Marc LeFebvre said: “We just have to keep things rolling and keep things simple.

“We are a much better team when we keep things simple and just play the right way, because when we do that, we get results.”

Then discussing his approach to tonight’s game in Coventry, Marc continued: “We know we are playing a desperate hockey team and they want to get off the bottom and up the table, which is where we were a month ago.

“So, we have to go in there full steam ahead and know that we are going to be in for a tough match up.”

The Stars boss also gave a few words on goaltender, Kevin Carr who produced another stellar performance as usual between the pipes but last night also picked up an assist and the ‘Man of the Match’ award.

He said: “All we can ask for is him to give us a chance to win every night and Kevin does that.

“He is a great leader in our locker room as well, not just on the ice but off the ice also and we rely on him so much, he has been great for the club overall.”



Dundee defenseman, Sean Allen then shared how the players are feeling and what it will take to come away with the two points from the SkyDome again.

He said: “You are seeing our play out there right now, the boys are all gelling and we are playing great.

“We have picked up a lot of points recently, so we just have to get our rest and go into Coventry, do our jobs and grab another two points.

“It is about sticking to our structure and focusing our game and how we play, which is all about getting pucks deep, wearing teams down in their end and just putting pucks on net and from that good things will come.”

Face-off for tonight’s game in Coventry is at 7pm.

All images: David Martin.

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