By Kris Smith
The Stars began their mid-season turnaround as they ended 2019 on a high and on a three-game winning streak.
On Boxing Day, Dundee powered to another victory over their biggest rivals and claimed their 26th derby win at home against Fife in the EIHL era.
That was also the first time that the home team has won this fixture in this campaign as the four previous games had all been won by the visitors.
The Stars followed up their home win with another dominant performance in Fife and that made it 17 wins for the Tayside team in Kirkcaldy.
It was also the third time that Dundee have won three ties on the road against the Flyers and it also the first time that the Stars have won all of their first three matches at the Fife Ice Arena in a single EIHL season.
The Stars can complete their first ever clean sweep of away games against Fife when they meet again in Kirkcaldy on February 8.
On Monday, the Stars were in Northern Ireland and nicked their third set of points from the current Elite League and Challenge Cup champions.
It is the first time ever that the Dundee have won three times in Belfast in a season.
They were lead to victory by Kevin Dufour who scored the team’s first hat-trick of the season, although he netted three in the second friendly game against Odense Bulldogs back in August.
Also, Dufour’s treble at the SSE Arena was also the third hat-trick scored by a Dundee player against Belfast and it was also the first time that the Stars have scored 6 goals in the Northern Irish capital.
Dufour still leads the team in goals with 21 on the season in all competitions and defenseman, Jagger Dirk has held his position as the prime creator for the team with 21 assists in 36 matches.
Along with his 15 assists, Dufour continues to lead the team in points as he sits atop of the points table with 36 but Anthony Beauregard is hot on his heels with 35.
However, captain, Matt Marquardt netted the Stars game-winning-goal in Belfast and he now has the most in the team with three.
Marquardt also sits tied as Dundee’s highest scorer on the powerplay as both he and Beauregard have scored five times each whilst on the man advantage.
There are nine players heading into Week 19 on point streaks and they are led by Marquardt who has nine points in the last five games.
Drydn Dow follows him with five in four and the other players on streaks are; Brett Stovin with five in three, Dufour has four in two, Shawn Boutin has a point per game over the last three matches and Jagger Dirk, Colton Kroeker and Craig Gans each have two from the last pair of fixtures.
Whereas, Matt Carter now has seven points in the last five matches and that puts him at 1.4 points per game during his time as Star.
Meanwhile. Beauregard can start a streak tonight as he collected three points in Belfast on Monday.
Omar Pacha’s men begin the 2020 part of their season tonight as they welcome the Giants back to Dundee before they go on a road trip this weekend.
Tonight, the Stars play their final game of the regular season against Belfast and if they beat the Giants then the club will have their first ever winning season against the Northern Irish outfit.
Despite the Stars winning record of 4-3 against Adam Keefe’s men, the overall score between the two team this season stands at 23 for Dundee and 26 for Belfast.
Dufour is the Stars top scorer against the Giants with seven goals in as many games but Beauregard. Kroeker, Marquardt and Dow have each beaten Shane Owen three times each.
On Saturday night, Dundee begin their English road trip weekend with another trip to Nottingham.
The Stars are searching for their first win of the season against the Panthers and from the previous four matches, Nottingham have out-shot Dundee 113-13.
Both sides have had good penalty kills against each other this year as Dundee have stopped the Panthers powerplay unit from scoring on 12 of their 14 man advantages and Tim Wallace’s men have killed off 14 of the Stars 17 opportunities.
Beauregard leads the team in goals against the English side, as he has netted three in the last three games with Panthers and was the scorer of Dundee’s only two goals in Nottingham this season.
Then on Sunday, the Stars will go in search of their first win of the season in Guildford.
After splitting results in a double header back in September, Dundee will aim to avenge their 7-1 loss in their last run-in with Paul Dixon’s side.
So far, the Flames are outshooting the Stars 69-58 in shots but two players have consistently found their way onto the scoresheet against Guildford.
Gans was the creator of three goals in the earlier double header and the Stars captain has already beaten Travis Fullerton twice this season.
Tonight’s home game at the DIA will face-off at 5pm and Saturday’s away game in Nottingham will start at 7pm, while Sunday’s road game in Guildford begins at 6pm. You can buy your tickets for tonight’s home game HERE.