By Kris Smith
The Stars already have two games under their belts after last weekend’s challenging friendly matches against Belfast Giants and whilst both games ended in defeat, everyone has seen positive growth within the squad.
A 9-4 loss in Belfast on Saturday was followed up by a tightly-contested 5-3 win for the Giants in Dundee on Sunday, but new Stars, Romans Semjonovs, Hugo Reinhardt and Carter Folk all showcased their scoring ability for the fans.
Returning players, Philippe Sanche and Drydn Dow also got in the scoring as netminder, Brython Preece took the starting spot in both games.
However, the Welshman may have to split the game time this weekend as his goaltending partner, Anton Svensson arrived in the city on Friday and the Swede may make his debut.
Meanwhile, Glasgow only started their preseason preparations this week and played their first match on Friday night, where they came out 5-3 winners against Fife Flyers.
After the opening 20 minutes, Clan were 2-0 up through goals from Nolan LaPorte and Mathieu Roy, but by the end of the second period, they had moved 4-1 ahead.
Fife’s Janne Laakkonen had cut the lead to one before Mitch Jones and Colton Waltz added two more for Glasgow.
The hosts continued to cut into the Clan’s lead in the third period and made it a 4-3 game as Brayden Sherbinin and Dillon Lawrence both found the net, but Gergely Toth slid home a fifth for Glasgow to seal the victory.
There are also going to be some familiar faces at either of the ice tonight, as former Clan forward, Mac Howlett lines up against his former side.
Dundee will also go up against a few of their own ex-players as defenseman, Shawn Boutin returns to the Elite League with Glasgow Clan and links up with former Stars teammate and Dundee-born, forward Jordan Cownie.
The Tayside team have only one player set to miss the weekend as Craig Garrigan picked up a lower body injury against Belfast that will keep him out for a few weeks.
Looking ahead to his first trip to Glasgow with the Stars, Mason said: “We have had a good week of practice and defensively we have been able to get more familiar with the systems and it is a work in progress.
“So, for the weekend I just want to see us take steps forward and also we need to learn to close games out and play with leads, so I would like to see us play from the front and win one of these games.
“Glasgow look much improved on paper and I think Malcom’s teams play hard for him, so they will be excited to get going and obviously it is their first home game, so I expect them to make some mistakes and hopefully we capitalise on them.”
Mason continued: “Some of the things we did really well last week, were the hard to teach aspects.
“We scored seven goals against a very good Belfast team that is very defensively sound and has good goaltending, so that is an extreme positive from the weekend and defensively in practice, I think we had a much better idea of our responsibilities than we did the week prior.
“It is preseason, so it is just about continuing to build and get ourselves ready for when we play that first Challenge Cup match in a week, then we are ready to go.”
Then former Clan winger, Howlett also discussed his excitement to be going up against Glasgow once again.
He said: “I am really excited to being going back to play against Glasgow, it is not the first time I have played against them for another team, but it is always a fun game.
“I know a couple guys who play there as well, so it is exciting.
“I think it will be a shock for some of the new guys, but hopefully both fans bring it and create a good atmosphere and the Stars fans can shout a bit louder.
“The Scottish rivalries seem to be better than the English ones, so I am looking forward to this weekend.”
The 22-year-old also explained what the Stars must do to come out on top against Glasgow tonight.
Mac added: “We have to stick to the systems first and foremost.
“We also need to use our speed, we have youth on our side compared to them and every other team in the league, so if we stay switched on, stick to the systems and use our speed, then I think we can get a good result out of there.”
Face-off for tonight’s game in Glasgow is at 7pm.
All images: Derek Black.