Dundee Stars are in Northern Ireland tonight to play in their first game of a triple header weekend, as they take on the Belfast Giants in the Challenge Cup.

By Kris Smith

The Stars start in Belfast tonight before heading to Kirkcaldy for another cup tie against their biggest rivals, Fife Flyers on Saturday night and finish their weekend at home to the Giants on Sunday.

Three cup matches in three nights, mean that six points are on offer for Omar Pacha’s side, who failed to win any last weekend as they begun both their Challenge Cup and Elite League campaigns.

In the 6-3 defeat to Belfast last Saturday, new Stars, Kyle Haas, Connor Sills and Philippe Sanche all opened their scoring accounts for the season and Sanche bagged his second 24 hours later against Nottingham Panthers in a 2-1 road loss.

Adam Keefe’s Giants moved top of Group A in the cup with their win over the Stars last week and a 5-1 win in Fife on Sunday.

The two standout players for Belfast last weekend were David Goodwin and JJ Piccinich, who each scored two goals and set up another three across both games.

Also, the Stars will be without defensemen, Drew Rumgay and Craig Moore this weekend and also forward Toms Rutkis, as all three miss out though injury.

With a long weekend of tough matches ahead and the hunt for his side’s first points of the season still on, Stars Head Coach, Omar Pacha said: “It is another week, and we are ready to go again.

“Hopefully we can improve on what we have worked on this week and I like how our group are approaching this weekend, they are really motivated to go over to Belfast and have a big game to start off.

“This weekend will be a tough challenge but if we play like we did last time with a few adjustments, then I am confident we can get something from this weekend.”

Meanwhile, forward, Dillon Lawrence has plenty of experience against Belfast and believes the team will be ready for the challenge tonight.

He added: “It is always tough because they are a strong team and we got a taste of that last week, so I think we will be ready for that this time.

“It was disappointing not to take anything away from Saturday but I think there were some good things and obviously a lot of things to work on.

“Also, it was good to be able to get 3 past them but we want to be scoring more as well and giving ourselves the best chance to win games.

“So, we are just trying to focus on the positives and work on what we need to and try to take the most out of this game.”

“The travel is something you just have to deal with in this league, so some guys are just learning about that this past weekend and it is never something you can use as an excuse.

Tonight’s game in Belfast faces-off at 7pm.

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