By Kris Smith
The Stars were 5-1 winners in Kirkcaldy on Saturday night and now welcome the Flyers to the DIA for their penultimate meeting this season.
Spencer Dorowicz put the Stars in front on 13 minutes, after Sebastian Bengtsson’s robbed the puck from a Flyers defenseman at centre ice, before setting up the Canadian for an easy finish.
Dundee then doubled their lead in the second period, following a crucial stop by Brython Preece in the Stars net, as he denied Craig Peacock on a breakaway and Stars Head Coach, Omar Pacha labelled that save as “the turning-point of the game”.
The visitors then collected the puck and moved down ice, where Charlie Combs skipped through a pair of Fife defenders before shooting past Shane Owen in the 31st minute.
However, the home side then responded two minutes later, when Carson Stadnyk saw his long-range shot saved by Preece, but the Welsh keeper was unable to prevent Brandon Magee from tapping in the rebound.
Although, Combs would net once again before the middle session expired and he used Bengtsson as a screen to hide his shot from the eyes of Owen and slip it underneath the Canadian goalie on 37 minutes.
In the third period, Dundee then began to increase their lead and put their rivals out of touching distance.
Blueliner, Michael Poirier was next to add his name to the scoresheet, as he received the puck along with space in front of goal and he had time to pick his spot, before shooting into the top right corner of Owen’s net, after 46 minutes.
Then inside the final two minutes, Connor Sills received a cross-goal pass from Dillon Lawrence and easily fired it home to round off the scoring at 5-1.
Those two well-earned points secured Dundee’s place in the Elite League Playoffs with four matches to spare and now they have to collect as many as possible to keep their chances of finishing fourth high.
Tonight, the Stars will still be without Adam Morrison, Toms Rutkis and Craig Garrigan as the three players all continue their recovery from injuries.
Heading into the second last Tayside Derby of the season, Dundee currently hold fifth place with 49 points through 50 games and they are four-points behind Nottingham Panthers.
Although the team in fourth have played one game more, but are not just in the cross-hares of Dundee, but also Coventry, Guildford and Glasgow, who are all separated by two points or less.
Speaking last night after clinching their playoff berth, Stars boss, Pacha said: “It is a great achievement for the guys considering all the adversity we have faced with injuries at the start of the season and COVID situation.
“It has been a roller-coaster of a season but for the guys to keep going, keep pushing hard and to clinch with four games left is a good accomplishment but we have elongated the goal now to go up in the standings and try and get the highest placing.
“We are still hoping to finish fourth and we might need a bit of help with other results, but I am really happy that we are still in a position to push for that spot.”
Reflecting on the dominant performance, Pacha continued: “It was a good performance from top to bottom I thought we moved the puck well and skated hard, generated a ton of chances.
“I thought Brython made a big save on that breakaway in the second to create that turning point and next thing you know, we go down the ice and score, so it was a good overall game.”
Then goalscorer, Michael Poirier added: “We have been battling all year with ups and downs but it was really nice to finally get that win that to secure that playoff spot.
“Now, it is jut about making sure we keep going throughout the rest of the four games and keep playing the right way.”
Looking ahead to the remaining games and the possibility of finishing inside the top four, the Canadian said: “We have to be motivated every game.
“Even though our job of locking up that playoff spot is done, we have to keep climbing as high as we possibly can, so every point in this situation is important.”
Face-off for tonight’s home game is at 5pm and it is also the club’s annual charity game, where tonight we will be wearing limited edition jerseys for our chosen charity, Dundee Bairns.
There will be bucket collections around the arena tonight and you can also bid on our special jerseys through the auction section of the club website.
The first auction will end at 8pm and then another will close every five minutes after that and you can place your bids HERE.
You can also still buy tickets for tonight’s derby HERE.