By Kris Smith
Stars return home to take on Manchester Storm this evening after suffering a 5-1 loss in Milton Keynes last night, the Altrincham side have been battling for the top spot in the league standings since day one.
They have now dropped to fifth on the table but are only four points behind three tied leaders, Cardiff Devils, Belfast Giants and Nottingham Panthers.
Brian Hart bagged a powerplay goal to give Stars little consolation after losing four goals in the opening period. Jimmy Jensen and Justin Fox both dropped the gloves and fox was also ejected for fighting but will not be suspended for tonight’s match.
Nate Fleming, Matt Beca and a Mike Hammond double weren’t enough to get past the Giants as they fell 3-1 behind before pulling it back twice but two late goals secured the points for the Irish side.
Dundee blew a 3-0 lead in Manchester and lost on a shootout before claiming a 5-4 shootout victory of their own at the DIA after a hard fought sixty-five minutes. Omar Pacha, Adam Harding and Taylor Dickin are all ex-Storm players and will be looking to continue their winning streak against their former club.
Taylor Dickin, Adam Harding and Marc-Olivier Mimar were on the scoresheet down in Manchester before Brian Hart, Justin Fox and a Joey De Concilys brace helped Dundee comeback. Riley Stadel and Scott Pitt both scored twice before Mimar found the net and Fullerton denied Pitt to claim the shootout victory for Stars.
Storm’s Mike Hammond is just one point off the top spot of the Elite League top point scorer’s table, he sits on 36 points with 14 goals and 22 assists from 21 games played. John Dunbar of Guildford is just one point ahead with 8 goals and 29 assists. Manchester also have another forward in the top three point scorers, Matt Beca has 31 points from 10 goals and 21 assists.
Ex-Storm forward, Adam Harding believes it will be a “tough” game and that they will have to “bring the best” if they are going to get the win.
He said: “It’s a tough weekend ahead, it was a long trip down to Milton Keynes then back home.
“Manchester will be a tough opponent, we have had two battles against them already this season, first in Manchester, we had the lead but Manchester came back and took the game in OT then at home we had another battle against them, short of bodies but we still managed to get the win.
“Manchester are a tough physical team and are having a great season with Finnerty in charge. “There in the running for top spot in the league at the moment and we will have to bring the best we have and play a full sixty minutes if we want to take the points from them again.”
Face-off is at 6:30pm with tickets still available form the DIA box office and online.