The Kitmart Dundee Stars can return to winning ways this Saturday when they host their biggest rivals, Fife Flyers in the next instalment of the Tayside Derby.

By Kris Smith

The Stars need to make a turnaround from last weekend as they were shutout 3-0 on the road by Manchester Storm and defeated 4-1 at home by Belfast Giants.

Drydn Dow scored Dundee’s only goal last weekend but the Tayside team were also playing without defenseman, Kris Inglis, has again be ruled out for this weekend with an upper body injury.

First up for the Stars is a derby match on Saturday night with their biggest rivals, Fife Flyers and the Kirkcaldy club also come into the match on a low after suffering defeat when they were beaten 4-3 at home by Guildford Flames last Sunday.

Omar Pacha’s men have won against their arch enemies twice already this season in three matches but both of their victories were across the River Tay.

In the only meeting at the Dundee Ice Arena, Fife walked away with the points after securing a late 2-0 win and are the only team to blank the Stars attackers at home this season.

Matt Marquardt (2), Kevin Dufour (2), Jagger Dirk, Elgin Pearce and Dow have scored the Stars seven goals against the Flyers this season, while Carlo Finucci is the only Fife player to beat Alex Leclerc twice in this campaign.

Addressing the poor results from last weekend, Stars head coach, Omar Pacha said: “Last weekend was not acceptable, we have to move on though and we expect everybody to be a lot better this weekend.

“I don’t think after playing so well for five games that was the response we would give and I just felt that on a work ethic side that wasn’t our standard and the compete level wasn’t as high, except for maybe the third period against Belfast, so this weekend is a major opportunity to respond.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s games, the Canadian coach continued: “We have to get back to what we were good at, we have done a lot of defensive mindset drills, we have worked hard, skated hard and worked a bit on our offence because that dried up.

“We need top guys to step up, we had five good games then we had these two bad ones now and hopefully that was just a bump in the road but we need points now.

“We need to get back to winning ways but we also need to find our identity, which I felt we lost at times last weekend.

“We just need to play a complete game from defence to offence, we scored one goal all weekend and it was scored by the defence, it’s not enough.

“So, we need guys to put the puck in the net and we need to play better defensively, overall we need everybody to step up in all situations.”

Stars forward, Jordan Cownie believes this is the perfect time for a big rivalry match.

He said: “I feel that there is probably no better time to play them, coming off a disappointing weekend and we know what they are all about and I think we have kind of had their number this year.

“So, after a good week of practice, I know the guys will be excited to play Fife this weekend.”

The Dundonian also knows just how important these games are to the fans.

“I think it is huge, even for the fans as well, I have been coming to these games for almost 20 years and I know what it means to the fans plus it is always good to get one over on Fife, so hopefully if we stick to our plan we will have that win on Saturday night”, added Jordan.

Face-off time for Saturday’s home game against Fife is at 7pm.

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
54 Games
22 Wins
25 Losses
7 OT Losses
51 Points