By Kris Smith
The Stars visit their oldest rivals, Fife Flyers tonight in the battle for second bottom with Dundee three points adrift from their foes and a win would put them just one point behind with one game to go.
Both teams wish to avoid finishing at the foot of the table but Todd Dutiaume’s men also still have a chance to qualify for the playoffs, so a win over Dundee is a must this evening.
In nine games this season, each club has won four contests and one was a draw during their Challenge Cup Quarter-Final two-legged tie, so one team will take winning record over their arch enemies for the year.
Stars forward, Philippe Sanche has been in red hot form with 13 points in his last seven games, but he also has 11 points against the Flyers this season, as does Elijiah Barriga, with Sanche leading in goals with six and Barriga has the most assists with seven.
Meanwhile, Zach Phillips has found the back of the net eight times against Dundee in this campaign, with teammate, Janne Kivilahti scoring seven times in the Tayside Derby.
Also on Saturday night, the Elite League’s top two, Belfast Giants and Guildford Flames battle it out in Northern Ireland with the Giants needing a victory on home ice to secure the league title.
However, if the champion is yet to be decided after Saturday, both the Stars and Flyers will have a role to play in deciding who will be crowned league winner, as the Giants come to Dundee and the Flames host Fife.
The Stars will be playing without two-way forward, Ben Brown and Jonathan McBean tonight as they compete in play-off action with their second club, but it is yet unknown if anyone else will miss this weekend’s games.
Speaking before his side’s final two games of the season, Stars Head Coach, Jeff Mason said: “It is a big rivalry game and certainly a game we want to win.
“If we go in there and win then it will eliminate them from making the playoffs but also give us the opportunity to try and take two points on Sunday, and potentially finish in ninth place.
“So, there is still a lot for us to play for and this group has been playing some good hockey over the last few weeks and I felt at times that we were unlucky not to come away with more points, therefore this is an opportunity for us to finish on a high note and go away into the summer with a little bit more of a positive feeling.”
Face-off time for tonight’s game in Fife is at 7pm.
All images: Flyers Images.