By Kris Smith
Hosting the bottom of the league side is a must-win game for the Stars and after slipping to two defeats last weekend, they really need some points right now. Tickets for tonight’s MASSIVE game can be bought HERE!
A 3-2 defeat in Glasgow by the Clan was followed by a 4-2 loss on home ice to the Cardiff Devils to leave Dundee pointless last week.
However, Manchester were also beaten at home in their last match, as they lost 3-1 to Nottingham Panthers in the Challenge Cup last Sunday.
Going into the weekend, Dundee sit ninth in the league standings and tied on points with basement club, Manchester.
The Stars and the Storm have already played each other home and away this season and on both occasions, it was the home team that were victorious.
A 3-1 away loss to the Storm was avenged with a 5-3 home win. Elgin Pearce netted the Stars’ only goal at the Storm Shelter. The Storm scored three powerplay goals at home and Tyson Fawcett bagged two of them before Cameron Critchlow added a third.
In the last meeting, Kevin Dufour (2), Egils Kalns, Anthony Beauregard and Matt Marquardt found the twine in the home victory.
While, Scott Simmonds, Layne Ulmer and Dallas Ehrhardt were the three lamp-lighters for the Altrincham outfit.
Ryan Finnerty will definitely not have Mathieu Gagnon available for selection as he serves the third of his five-match ban.
While Defenseman, Kris Inglis will return to the line up tonight for Dundee, after recovering from his upper body injury.
Omar has this to say about the inclusion of Kris and having a full roster for tonights game:
“Kris had a solid start with us this season before his injury. We are really looking forward to having him back and finally back to our 6 regular defensemen, that will be a massive help to the team
Looking ahead to the weekend, Stars head coach, Omar Pacha continued: “This weekend is massive, I think everybody knows from looking at the schedule, that these two games are really important for the club, but we have to get back to playing our way of hockey.
“Which is maybe a bit faster and a bit quicker and making sure we end up at the net.
“Obviously, it is a disappointing time right now but that doesn’t mean we can’t turn things around and I am confident with the group that we have, that we will.”
After some tough weeks of losing out in tight games, the Canadian coach just wants his side to find some confidence again.
Pacha said: “We just have to get our confidence back and make sure we play a bit looser up front, we have to stop making these individual mistakes that keep hurting us.
“We are finding new ways to make mistakes, so we have to make sure we are playing within the system and obviously playing the right way, then good things will happen.”
With a big derby match coming up on Sunday, the Stars boss has asked his players to put it to the back of their minds and focus on getting an important win on tonight first.
Omar added: “We have always played well against our rivals but we will have to go one-game at a time.
“So this weekend is massive, especially at home against Manchester but then against Fife it is always a good rivalry and we have won against them in the past so there is no reason why we cant go in there and make an impact.
“Right now, we need points, so we need to make sure we minimise our mistakes defensively and make sure we keep going to the net and having our special teams producing.”
Dundee defender, Craig Gans has stressed just how more and more increasingly vital, picking up points is becoming.
He said: “Well for us right now every point is crucial but especially against the teams that we are chasing and are closer with.
“These are big four-point nights and they can give us some energy and momentum to get back into things.”
After coming up against the Storm twice already, the Alberta, Canada native knows what he and his teammates have to do to triumph over Manchester again.
Craig added: “We know that they are a hard-working team that like to clog up the neutral zone and capitalise on mistakes.
“To get the result that we want, we will have to work hard and simplify our game.
“We will be getting back to going out on every shift with a purpose and that purpose is to use our speed and protect our net.”
Face-off time for tonight’s home game is 7pm. You can buy your tickets HERE!