By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars are planning to build on their last win with another in Nottingham on Saturday.
Omar Pacha takes his Stars side to the home of the Panthers, with the aim of taking both points away from Rick Strachan’s men, for the second time this season.
The last time Dundee travelled to Nottinghamshire, they left the Motorpoint Arena with two points after a late overtime goal helped them claim a 4-3 win.
The two teams have already met three times in Tayside this season with the Panthers winning twice but it was Stars who were victorious in the last tie as they came away 4-3 winners. The two previous matches seen Nottingham win 2-1 after overtime and 3-0.
Dundee come into the match in ninth place and off the back of an important 4-3 win over other playoff hopefuls, the Coventry Blaze. Fabrizio Ricci’s hat-trick and a single strike from Brian Hart completed a comeback win as Stars were 3-1 down after two periods. Defender, Connor Cox was missing from the line-up last weekend but he could possibly be fit to face the Panthers.
Last Sunday, the Panthers beat Fife Flyers 4-3 at home to keep them in fourth place in the Elite League standings. Robert Farmer scored twice including the game-winning-goal in overtime and only Dylan Olsen and Michael Garnett were scratches from the line-up.
Three Stars forwards have scored twice against Nottingham this season, Matt Marquardt, Lukas Lundvald and rookie, Craig Garrigan, who scored his first two professional goals in the 4-3 home win against the English club.
Stars winger, Lukas Lundvald revealed that it was “do or die” for Dundee going into last Sunday’s third period against Coventry.
He said: “That was what we needed, we all knew that before the third period it was do or die.
“We had to find a way to win and we played solid in the last 20 minutes but I was not happy with how we played in the second but we found a way and we want to carry that into this week.”
The momentum gained from Sunday’s win can be carried into this weekend according to the Dane.
Lundvald added: “We won the last time we went down there, so of course we can beat any team in the league but it is about playing as close to 60 perfect minutes as possible and if we can do that, we have a chance.”
A lot of hope of making the playoffs remains in the Stars dressing room and the team are taking it week by week says Lundvald.
He said: “It is always more fun to come out the game after a win, we just need to build on it and have a good week of practice and get ready for the weekend.”
This week, head coach Omar Pacha has also insisted Stars are going to Nottingham with the purpose of taking the two points home and are not treating the game as a write-off to focus on Sunday’s home game.
Saturday’s road game will face-off at 7pm.