The Kitmart Dundee Stars make their 2022 debut tonight against the Fife Flyers at Dundee Ice Arena and are looking to make a bright start to the new year.

By Kris Smith

The Stars will be keen to seal a valuable two points and extend their winning-streak at home to five games against the Flyers, but also to start a new chapter after ending 2021 on a low.

On Hogmanay, Dundee were in Belfast and suffered a heavy 7-1 defeat in what was there first game in over two weeks, as the team were released from isolation.

However, Todd Dutiaume and his players find themselves in a similar situation as tonight will be there first outing since December 12, after they also entered the Elite League’s COVID Protocol.

Tonight’s instalment of the Tayside Derby was set to be the two teams fourth meeting in 15 days, but due to both clubs having to isolate, this will be the first time they have clashed since October 30th.

That last tie came in the Challenge Cup Group Stage and saw the Flyers take a 5-0 win in a nothing game for the Stars.

However, in four games this season, both sides have won two a piece and will be eager to claim the next set of bragging rights in their first league fixture of the campaign.

Omar Pacha’s Stars currently sit eighth in the league standings with 13 points from 18 games, and that is just three points more than the Flyers have through 17 games, but who are on the bottom of the table.

Canadian winger, Philippe Sanche leads the Dundee team in goals and points against Fife with four (3G, 1A) and captain, Drydn Dow has three assists from his four appearances against the Kirkcaldy club.

Dundonian duo, Kris Inglis and Craig Garrigan were the only Stars to miss the trip to Belfast three days ago, but Garrigan will return to the line-up this evening.

Dundee defender, Craig Moore explained how the Stars have been handed a “reality check” after their tough restart.

He said: “I think Friday in Belfast was a bit of a reality check.

“Prior to our isolation period we were on a good run of results, but we knew it was always going to be tough game away in Belfast right out of isolation.

“They are a good team with high end skill and had a few games back under their feet after 10 days lockdown.

“I think we need to learn from that, and get back to what made us successful, which was keeping things simple, playing together as a unit and focusing on defence first knowing the offence will come from this.

“Fife are now in the same boat we were in Friday, so I think we have to come out the gate flying and put a lot of pressure on them from the drop, get ourself into the game early and take it from there.”

Discussing the last few weeks, Craig continued: “Obviously this has been a pretty crazy couple of weeks for both ourselves and the league.

“It is always nice to get a few days rest to spend with family and friends around this time of year, but never did I expect to spend 15 days locked up in my apartment.

“Of course, it is tough both physically and mentally to have that set back, but we are professionals who have to adapt and overcome whatever is thrown our way, and have to remember all but one team has dealt with the same.

“So, we are all fighting the same battles and I think we just have to look forward, go day by day and take each game as it comes.

“There’s a lot of hockey left to be played and a lot of points up for grabs!”

Whilst tonight’s home match is sold-out, there is an online stream via Dundee Stars TV that can be purchased, face-off 5pm.

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Kitmart Dundee Stars Team
24 Games
10 Wins
13 Losses
1 OT Losses
21 Points