The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars are in South Wales tonight to face Cardiff Devils where they aim to build on a pair of wins at the weekend, as they step up their hunt to secure a playoff spot.

By Kris Smith

The Stars are looking to tighten their grip on sixth-place in the Elite League table with a third win in three games if they can beat the Devils and it is currently a tie between all three Scottish teams on 49 points, but Dundee hold the advantage with their 15 regulation wins compared to Fife Flyers’ 13 and Glasgow Clan’s 10.

Therefor a win tonight would give the Stars some extra breathing room and possibly a guaranteed advantage over their Scottish rivals if Fife Flyers fail to beat Sheffield Steelers tonight in regulation, as they take on the newly crowned league champions in Kirkcaldy.

Last weekend, Dundee were 5-1 winners over the Clan in Glasgow, with Carter Johnson, Spencer Naas (2), Drydn Dow and Brent Beaudoin all on the scoresheet, before they also defeated Manchester Storm 4-1 on home ice, where Ryan Valentini, Johnson, Anthony Rinaldi and Elijah Vilio all found the net.

Meanwhile the Devils split their weekend with a 4-0 loss in Sheffield before bouncing back to defeat Belfast Giants 4-3 in overtime, securing their spot as the number two seeds for the playoffs.



The Taysiders are yet to beat the Devils this season but have come close on multiple occasions with late comeback attempts making Cardiff sweat but they could never complete the feat.

The last meeting between the two teams saw Pete Russell’s side take a 6-3 win in Dundee as Cole Sanford, Joey Martin, Tyler Busch (2), Trevor Cox and Ben Davies powered the Welsh outfit to victory, with the Stars goals coming from a Jake Elmer brace and Johnson.

Johnson is tied with the Elite League’s leading goal scorer Naas (32) for Dundee’s most points against Cardiff this season as they have both scored three times and assisted twice for five points, whilst Marcus Crawford leads the league in assists with 47 and has seven of them against the Stars, but also a goal for eight points.



Looking ahead to tonight’s road game, Stars Head Coach, Marc LeFebvre said: “We will approach it like any other game.

“We know the importance of it but they are one of those teams we could end up facing in the first round, so not only do we want to beat those guys, we want to send a message at the same time.

“Although, first and foremost we just want to take care of business and secure our spot in the playoffs.”

He continued: “We just need to keep taking it shift-by-shift, playing hard on each shift and we need to stay disciplined the whole time both within our structure and the way we play.

“We know it is going to be a tough matchup and they themselves are getting ready for the playoffs too, so it is not going to be easy and it is a tough building to go into but we will be prepared.”

Face-off for tonight’s game in Wales is at 7:30pm.


All images: James Assinder.

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