By Kris Smith
Again, the Stars have just one game this weekend and therefore they will be hungry to collect two more points.
Dundee have won four of the seven matches this season but they have only beaten Todd Dutiaume’s men once at home in three attempts and tonight’s game will prove to be MASSIVE for both clubs and their playoff aspirations. You can buy your tickets NOW!
In the last game, two weeks ago, the Flyers prevented Omar Pacha’s men from winning all the league and Challenge Cup fixtures in Kirkcaldy by coming up with a 4-1 win that also snapped a 14-game losing streak for the Flyers.
However, last weekend both teams defeated the Elite League leaders Sheffield Steelers, Dundee beat the Steelers on the road 5-2 on Saturday night with Matt Marquardt, Egils Kalns, Anthony Beauregard, Matt Carter and Colton Kroeker all scoring.
Then on Sunday, Fife won 3-1 on home ice against the Yorkshire club and their goals came from Chase Schaber and Carlo Finucci (2).
Although, the Flyers were beaten 3-2 in Cardiff on Wednesday evening, despite holding a 1-0 lead with 20 minutes to go.
Paul Crowder netted both goals for Fife and Scott Jamieson was the only player missing from the line-up.
Meanwhile, Omar Pacha faces a similar situation in Dundee as he will be without one player for the derby game because Alex Schoenborn remains unavailable due to a lower body injury.
Looking ahead to the final but crucial last Tayside Derby, Stars Head Coach, Pacha said: “It is crucial, we only have 11 games left now.
“Every game is basically playoff hockey and when you play the Fife Flyers, your rival team, they will be desperate for points to catch us and we need to catch at least one of the teams in front of us.
“Whenever you play a derby game it is huge but this one counts directly towards the standings and it will have a massive impact on where we are after the weekend.”
Discussing how his side have faired against the Flyers in this year’s campaign, the Stars boss added: “We are 3-1 (wins-losses) over there and they are 2-1 here, so it is a pretty even series.
“I think Fife and us are always similar in a sense where we are always taking points off each other but I would like to see us at least finish the series off with a win at home.
“That would not only give us the points but it would also win us the season series 5-3 and that would be a good record.
“Plus, now the Scottish teams are all competing for a playoff spot, it would be nice to be the best Scottish team overall, as we have winning records against both Glasgow and Fife.”
“We have played really well at home since Christmas, we have only lost one of the last six home games but we probably had one of our better games on the road last week in Sheffield.
“So, it is important to show our fans a similar performance on Saturday because this is a big rivalry and a huge game.
“We just have to go shift by shift, be ready from the start and hopefully we will come out with the points.”
Meanwhile, Dundee forward, Brett Stovin is hoping the Stars will be inside the top eight by after the final buzzer on Saturday.
He said: “It is getting to that point in the season where you can really solidify a position in the standings.
“So, a win against them can keep pushing them down and hopefully move us into a playoff spot after the game.
“That would put us in a pretty good spot with the other two teams we are currently chasing and it would boost our chances of getting a spot.”
The Canadian center also believes the fans and a big crowd will help the team.
Brett added: “We can just feed off our fans, this is a straight shout out to them because they have been fantastic since Christmas, they have just been incredible.
“We just have to get into that energy and they bring that energy every night at home and that can be the big difference for us.”
Saturday’s game at the Dundee Ice Arena faces-off at 7pm and you can get your tickets for #OperationSellout HERE before they are gone!