This weekend provides a great opportunity for Dundee Stars to create a first leg advantage in the last eight of the league cup.

By Kris Smith

Glasgow Clan are in town tonight for the Quarter-Finals of the Challenge Cup as the Stars are at home for the first game of the first knockout round.

The Stars are in good form after winning three games in a row but they only played once last weekend as they went over to Northern Ireland and nicked two points from Belfast Giants with a 4-2 victory.

Drydn Dow, Anthony Beauregard, Elgin Pearce and Matt Marquardt scored the goals for Dundee, while goaltender, Alec Leclerc backstopped them with a 43-save performance.

Stars head coach, Omar Pacha has no injury worries heading into the weekend and he is hoping that his top seeded side can continue their good form.

He said: “We just have to keep playing the way we have been.

“Our special teams are doing well and five-on-five we seem to be doing a lot better defensively and not allowing as many ‘Grade-A’ chances or secondary shots in the slot area.

“So we are doing well defensively, offensively it is starting to quicken up a bit more and we are getting a bit of scoring from everywhere which is good.

“We just have to keep it going, keep working hard and Glasgow are a team that we have had success against, so we just have to play the same way which is fast, in their faces and make sure we stay disciplined.

“We just have to keep playing well defensively, moving the puck north, playing with a lot of pace up front and not playing as much time in the defensive zone as we did during our losing streak.”

The Canadian coach is also hoping for a large crowd at this important match.

Pacha added: “It is always a good rivalry game against Glasgow, so we are expecting a good crowd but we need to start well and give a bit of energy to our fans so they can help push us on.”

Meanwhile, Glasgow come into this weekend atop of the Elite League table and they held onto that sport by bouncing back from defeat last weekend.

After a 6-4 loss to Fife Flyers in Kirkcaldy on Saturday night, the Braehead club responded with an impressive 8-5 win over second-placed Sheffield Steelers.

Rasmus Bjerrum lead the Clan in scoring last weekend with five points across the two games but Zack Fitzgerald was without Mathieu Roy, Scott Tanski and Craig Peacock during last Sunday’s win over the Steelers.

The Clan finished second in the group 2nd in Group A, four points behind winners, Dundee and the two teams have battled hard all season.

The Taysiders have won three of the four matches but Glasgow finally ended the Dundee dominance in the last match as they claimed a 3-2 victory on the banks of the Clyde.

Looking ahead to the weekend, Stars forward, Egils Kalns said: “The team are feeling really good after last Saturday’s big win on the road.

“We are pumped up and looking forward to winning this game on Friday but to win the game, we need to play our game.

“Which means playing with passion, doing the right things on the ice and sticking tightly within our five-man units.

“We have to play hard every shift, we can’t take any shifts off, so you have to be ready to work hard on every single shift.”

The Latvian winger is also expecting a great atmosphere for the cup clash.

Kalns added: “I think it will be a pretty awesome atmosphere, the crowd are going to be loud like they always are when they are supporting us through every game, so the atmosphere will be fantastic.”

Friday’s Challenge Cup match will face-off at 7:30pm and you can buy your tickets HERE.

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Kitmart Dundee Stars Team
15 Games
2 Wins
7 Losses
1 OT Losses
9 Points