By Kris Smith
The Stars arrive in Kirkcaldy on a high after taking a 4-2 road win over Glasgow Clan on Saturday and that has put them back in the win column after a difficult run of games against the Elite League’s top two teams.
After a scoreless first period in Braehead, Dundee went ahead on 30 minutes through Brendan Harms’ powerplay goal but a few minutes later, Robert Lachowicz would equalise for Glasgow and 32 seconds after that, Cody Sol fired the home side in front.
Ryan Valentini levelled the score 16 seconds into the third period and four minutes later, Brent Beaudoin would score on his return from injury to get the Stars back in front.
Then, three seconds from time, Spencer Naas sealed the victory with an empty net goal to move the Tayside team back into the top eight and withing three points of the top four.
Meanwhile, the Flyers suffered a pair of defeats to Belfast Giants on Friday and Saturday as they were beaten 5-2 in Northern Ireland and then lost out 3-2 after penalties at home.
In Belfast, Lucas Chiodo and Teemu Pulkkinen had both fired the short-benched Flyers ahead but the Giants pegged them back twice and powered on to take the win.
Whereas in Kirkcaldy, the Giants went ahead before Troy Lajeunesse and Kyle Osterberg turned it around but Adam Keefe’s side tied it up late, before taking the win in a shootout.
Dundee will still be missing injured defenseman, Kris Inglis and newly announced signing, Elijah Vilio is yet to arrive in Scotland, but fellow blueliner, Chris McKay returns to the line-up after serving his two-game suspension.
The last meeting between the old foes saw the Stars take a 6-4 win in Fife as they went behind to an Osterberg goal in the opening minutes, before Naas provided a swift equaliser and Colin Shirley then restored the host’s lead.
In the second session, Anthony Rinaldi and Naas then both lit the lamp to put the Stars in front, but Lajeunesse levelled for the Flyers before Drydn Dow’s instant reply kept Dundee in front going to the third.
The final 20 minutes saw Naas complete the hat-trick before Shirley bagged his brace in the final minutes to make it a 5-4 game, although Dow hit the empty net whilst shorthanded to secure the victory.
Reflecting on Saturday’s win in Glasgow and looking ahead to the Derbies against Fife, Stars Head Coach, Marc LeFebvre said: “I am pleased we got the win but I just thought it was a great game of hockey to watch from a fan perspective and the fans got entertained by both teams.
“It was a classic hard, physical hockey game and both goalies played very well and made key stops at key moments to keep both teams going.
“We had a great kill at the end of third then slid it into the empty net, but that is the hockey that is going to be played throughout the league for the rest of the way,
“It is such a tight league that you cannot take even a moment off and we saw in the second that we switched off for a couple minutes there and two pucks are in the back of our net.
“However, it was a great job by the guys to respond in the third period and take two massive points in the standings.”
He continued: “We worked on a lot of things this week and it has been more about simplifying things and sometimes as a coach you have to take a step back and assess things.
“We played Sheffield and Cardiff a lot and they are the two best teams right now at the top of the table, so you learn a lot about your team in those kinds of games and against those kinds of teams.
“So, you just have to simplify some things and we did that for the most part tonight and I thought the first period was probably as good a first period that we have played on the road, all season.
“We did not give them much, then in the second we kind of opened ourselves up a little bit and in the third, that is why you have a good goalie, because Kevin gave us a chance at the end.
“It was an overall team effort and everybody bought in to everything, everybody was on the same page and everything came together at the right moments in the game.
“The rest of the season is going to be like that, just hard, hard fought hockey and that is what we will be playing in Fife on Tuesday.”
Face-off for today’s game in Fife is at 5pm.
All images: Flyers Images.