The Kitmart Dundee Stars are hoping to bounce back from defeat tonight as they take on Belfast Giants at the Dundee Ice Arena, where the Stars are unbeaten in their last three matches.

By Kris Smith

Both teams were on the losing sides of other league matches last night as Dundee were shutout 3-0 away from home by Manchester Storm.

Meanwhile, Belfast also suffered a loss as they were put to the sword in Kirkcaldy and they trailed the Fife Flyers 3-0 after the first period before Ben Lake’s powerplay goal in the third session stopped Adam Morrison from collecting a shutout, as the Giants were beaten 5-1.

Tonight, the Tayside welcome back Belfast to Tayside and the Stars are eager to continue their oppression of the reigning Elite League champions.

Omar Pacha’s men have beaten the Giants three times in four games, winning twice in Northern Ireland and losing just once on the road.

The Stars netminder, Alex Leclerc has been a tough opponent for Adam Keefe’s men all season long and the Canadian posted a 65-save win and a 43-save win during both victories in Belfast.

Leclerc now has a 91.8 save percentage after facing 168 shots in four games against Belfast and was named Elite League Player of the Week last week.

Defenseman, Kris Inglis, is the only player set to miss Sunday’s game as an upper body injury ruled him out for this weekend’s matches.

Stars forward, Duncan Speirs has therefore dropped back to partner Craig Gans on the blueline and fill Inglis’ spot.

Speirs is also aware of the importance of tonight’s game and how crucial it is to keep winning against a side like Belfast.

He said: “This game is just absolutely massive for us because we need to keep taking points off those top teams, especially Belfast and especially at home.”

The Stars have done well against the Giants on most occasions but because they are classed a one of the league’s top sides, the 22-year-old says that the team find it easier to motivate themselves ahead of these matches.

Speirs added: “I feel like it is easier to get motivated for those games because they are one of the top teams and it is always the big teams you want to beat, so we maybe get ourselves hyped up a bit more to beat them.”

The Irvine-born, Scot also stressed the importance of taking full points from every home game, if Dundee want to make the playoffs.

Duncan said: “Our home games are hugely important, you can’t afford to lose any home game if you want to have a chance of making the playoffs, so we need to be winning every week at home.”

Face-off time for tonight’s home game is at 5pm. Tickets are still available and can be bought HERE.

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