By Kris Smith
The Stars started off last weekend with a crucial win over Manchester Storm and that has put some distance between Dundee and the Altrincham side who are stuck at the foot of the Elite League table.
A 4-3 win at the Dundee Ice Arena moved the Stars onto 11 points, which is just a pair behind the eighth placed Fife Flyers.
Manchester’s Tyler Fawcett opened the scoring on Saturday night and he put the Storm ahead with what was his third goal against the Stars this season.
Jared Aulin would score the other two goals for Ryan Finnerty’s side and joins Fawcett as the only other Manchester player to find a way past Alex Leclerc on multiple occasions this season.
Matt Marquardt, Brett Stovin, Jagger Dirk and Egils Kalns were the lamp-lighters for the home side and that was Kalns first game-winning-goal of the season.
The Stars captain, Marquardt is still the leader in that category with three game-winners in this campaign.
With 12 points collected by Stars players on Saturday it has raised some players point totals against the Storm, such as Drydn Dow’s, as he now has four points in three games against them.
Whereas, Kevin Dufour, Anthony Beauregard and Marquardt each have an average of a point per game versus Manchester.
Omar Pacha’s side now have a record of 2-1-0 (wins-losses-overtime/shootout losses) against the Storm and they have won the previous two matches which were both on home ice.
In Saturday’s victory, Dundee recorded their highest number of shots on target in any fixture this season as they put 52 shots on Matt Ginn.
That has taken the total shot count for the three games to 113-107 in favour of the Tayside team, from which they have scored 10 goals.
On Sunday, the Stars paid their second visit to the home of their biggest rivals, Fife Flyers and were for a second consecutive match, victorious.
A 3-1 win put Dundee within reach of Fife and the scoring started when Dirk netted his second goal of the weekend and his season as a Star right before the end of the first period.
Despite Carlo Finucci tying the game and becoming the first Flyer to score multiple goals against the Stars in this year’s campaign, Marquardt had the visitors back in front with his fourth powerplay goal of the year.
Elgin Pearce then slid the puck into an empty net to confirm the result for Pacha and his players in the final minute.
Marquardt and defenseman, Shawn Boutin collected their third points in three games against Fife but Kalns notched his fourth and fifth assists of the season against the Kirkcaldy club, on Sunday.
The Stars have netted seven times against their arch rivals so far this year but have conceded six goals, yet they have been outshot 85-96 over the three games.
They have also maintained their 100 per cent penalty kill record against Todd Dutiaume’s powerplay unit, seeing out all 11 penalties they have taken versus Fife.
After a successful weekend there has been some movement in the teams statistics tables.
Dufour still leads the team in goals with 13 in all competitions but he is tied with Dirk, Beauregard and Justin Maylan for the most assists with 12 each.
Therefore, with his combined 13 goals and 12 assists, Dufour has the most points with 25.
Meanwhile the starting goaltender, Leclerc picked up his sixth ‘Man of the Match’ award of the season and also claimed his 10th win as Stars netminder.
The Canadian also made his 700th save of the season and played his 1400th minute of Elite League hockey during Sunday’s fixture in Kirkcaldy.
There are a few players going into Week 12 on point-streaks and they are led by Dow, who has four points in the last three games.
Whereas, both Kalns and Marquardt have three in the last two and Dirk has scored twice during the previous pair of games.
There are also a few players who hit or are approaching milestone moments in their Elite League careers.
Firstly, defender Kris Inglis played in his 150th EIHL league game last Saturday and Dow’s assist on Marquardt’s equaliser verse the Storm was Dow’s 50th Elite League point.
Meanwhile, forward Craig Garrigan requires just one point for 10 points in all EIHL competitions.
This weekend’s only fixture pits the Stars against the Belfast Giants in Northern Ireland on Saturday and it will be the third time Pacha has taken his squad to the SSE Arena this season.
Identical to their record against the Storm and Flyers, Dundee are 2-1-0 against Adam Keefe’s men this year.
There are also two Stars players that have really excelled against the Giants in this campaign and they are both commonly mentioned names.
Between Beauregard and Marquardt, they have accumulated 10 points in three matches with Belfast. Anthony has six points while Matt adds the other four.
Although, there are also a pair of Giants who have shown their clinical finishing ability against Dundee and they are Ben Lake and Curtis Hamilton.
The duo each netted two goals over the first two ties but neither scored in the last match.
However, Belfast had seven different scorers in the previous game in which they won 7-2 and that brings their total to 11 different scorers against the Stars for the season.
Face off time for this Saturday’s away game in Belfast is at 7pm.
Thanks to www.starsstats.co.uk/ which was created by Dave Sweetin and Elite Prospects for making some of the information used in this article available online.