By Kris Smith
On Friday night, the Stars welcome the reigning Elite League champions to Dundee Ice Arena and are hopeful of adding another win to their record against the Giants this season. You can buy your tickets HERE!
After five meetings with the Northern Irish team in the last four months, Dundee have won three of the five meetings and their home record against Belfast is one win and one loss.
The Stars want to snap their five-game losing streak and they come up against a Giants side that has failed to be consistent.
Both teams come into the game off the back of defeats on Wednesday night in their league cup Quarter-Final matches. Dundee were eliminated by Glasgow Clan after suffering a 4-1 defeat away from home.
Whereas, Adam Keefe’s men were edged out 1-0 at home by Cardiff Devils in the first leg of their last eight tie.
The Stars were without two defenders on Wednesday as Shawn Boutin and Kris Inglis were side-lined with upper body injuries that will keep them out for this weekend as well.
Those injury problems forced Stars head coach, Omar Pacha to shuffle his lines as Brett Stovin and Duncan Speirs dropped back to fill in the gaps in the defence and Craig Garrigan took Stovin’s spot on the third forward line.
Keefe also had a gap in his defence on Wednesday as Kevin Raine was missing from the line-up.
Dundee’s most prolific player against the Giants has been Anthony Beauregard as he has collected seven points in the five games, but Belfast have shown their scoring depth as they have had 13 different scorers of their 19 goals against Dundee.
Curtis Hamilton, Ben Lake, Brian Ward, Booby Farnham, Lewis Hook and Liam Morgan have all each scored twice against the Stars this season.
However, a few more of Dundee’s key players have put up some big numbers in the same matches.
Elgin Pearce and Kevin Dufour have both totalled four points in the five fixtures and captain, Matt Marquardt has six of his own.
Stars head coach, Omar Pacha was disappointed to exit the Challenge Cup on Wednesday but is looking for his side to simplify their game in order to find some goals this weekend.
He said: “I was obviously disappointed and upset about the result on Wednesday but regarding the process about how we played defensively, I thought it was good.
“But, right now we are just not finding the net, so we are just trying to find different aspects to make that successful.
“Every day we are trying to find ways to make the team better and hopefully on Friday we can get a result.
“It’s hard but now we just have to get really simple and put pucks to the net, don’t overthink it and just get it to the goal and drive to that net.
“We are not finding corners and we are not finishing our chances just now, so we just have to simplify our game and build-up that confidence again.”
The Stars boss believes his side can get a result tonight to give the players some more confidence again.
“It is weird, we are 3-2-0 on the year against them, so we have had success but we also had success against Glasgow and then we obviously lost on Wednesday.
“So, right now it is more about playing the right way and hopefully we can grind out a result and for me that is the most important thing at this moment in time, getting the confidence back in the group.
“I think the easiest way to do that is to get two points, it is all about finding a way to win and if we can do that then I am confident the guys can find their confidence again.”
Stars forward, Justin Maylan insists that Dundee must continue to focus on improving their defending and that their offence will come from being solid at that back.
He said: “Coach has been telling us to focus on the defensive side of the game which will allow the offence part to come naturally.
“I know it seems strange because we haven’t scored many goals the last couple games but good defence always leads to good offence and this situation will be no different.
The Canadian forward also believes that the Stars have all the right, but that every player needs to step up at the right time.
Maylan added: “Honestly we know we have the guys in the room to beat any team in this league, it’s just a matter of everyone stepping up and playing their best.
“If everyone brings their A-game then we will start to get those wins again.
“We are not a team built on one or two players that can win the game alone, we need everyone to bring their best effort and play for the team because it is a privilege to be playing in front of these amazing fans and to be playing for the Dundee Stars organisation.”
Face-off time for Friday’s home game is at 7:30pm. You can buy your tickets HERE.