By Kris Smith
Dundee slipped to two home defeats at the weekend but out-chanced both of their opposition before a few lucky bounces put them behind in Glasgow as their cup run came to an end.
Last Saturday’s defeat meant that in the four games against the Flyers this season, no home team has won.
Dundee’s lone goal against Fife was scored by defenseman, Craig Gans and that was his first as a Stars player.
His 40th minute goal also triggered the launch of over 600 teddy bears onto the ice as this season’s Teddy Bear Toss surpassed the record amount of 450 last year.
The Flyers first goal came on the powerplay and that was the first time they converted a powerplay against Dundee this season but the Stars penalty kill still remains at 92.86 per cent against their biggest rivals.
The two sides will meet again on Boxing Day at the Dundee Ice Arena.
Last Sunday, the Stars slipped to a second defeat at the hands of Coventry, despite a late surge.
The last fixture has taken the overall scoring between the two sides to 11-10 in favour of Dundee.
Matt Marquardt netted a brace and Drydn Dow scored the first Stars goal but that was each players first goal against the West Midlands club in this campaign.
Former Star, Charles Corcoran netted for the first time against him former club but other Blaze players, such as Luke Ferrara, Dillon Lawrence and Evan Bloodoff, added their second tallies of the season against Dundee.
Two players also extended their point streak last Sunday as Kevin Dufour assisted on one goal to extend his streak to five points in three matches and Colton Kroeker’s assist took him three assists in three matches.
The two sides meet again this weekend.
Glasgow Clan 4 Dundee Stars 1 (Aggregate 5-2)
On Wednesday, the Stars were in Glasgow for their second leg tie of the Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals and it is the eighth straight season that the team have made it to last eight.
However, the defeated ended Dundee’s cup run and brought their win percentage against Galsgow down to 50 per cent, as the record now sits at three wins, two losses and a draw.
Again, the Tayside team’s lone goal was scored by blueliner, Gans as he netted his second of the season, less than a week after opening his account.
Dundee wont play Glasgow again until the end of January.
With all of the Challenge Cup ties now completed, Dundee’s statistics leaders in the league cup can be confirmed.
Dufour led the team in goals with seven in eight matches, while Latvian winger, Egils Kalns assisted seven times but Dufour also had the most points with 10.
In between the pipes, netminder Alex Leclerc saved 287 of the 308 shots he faced for a 93.18 save percentage. The Canadian also had a goals against average of 2.51 and finished the competition with a record of five wins, two losses and one draw.
Whereas in the league scoring charts, Marquardt has taken over as the top scorer with 10 on the season but Jagger Dirk still has the most assists with 13 and Dufour the most points with 20.
There is only one player carrying a point streak into Week 16 and it is Gans who has put up a point in each of the last three fixtures.
There are a number of Stars players who hit or are approaching milestone moments in their Elite League careers.
Firstly, as Gans netted his first goal of the season, only defender, Kris Inglis is yet to score in a competitive match this season.
In league games, as mentioned above, Marquardt hit 10 goals on the season and Dufour now has 20 points but Elgin Pearce is now only one assist away from 10 in 31 games, while Leclerc requires only three saves for 700 in league play.
In all competitions, Dufour hit 15 assists and 30 points last weekend, while both Dow and Justin Maylan reached 20 points in this campaign.
Thanks to an assist on Wednesday, Jordan Cownie hit 15 assists for the season and Gans made another achievement as he hit 10 points but still requires one assist for 10 helpers.
Forward, Brett Stovin needs just a single point for 10, Kroeker needs just one for 15, Dirk is one point off of 20 and Pearce is a lone point shy of 25.
Meanwhile, Leclerc can hit 1000 saves this weekend, if he makes 16 stops.
In Week 16, the Stars are desperate to make a turnaround in form and get back on track as they have slipped out of gear with a few losses.
First up on Friday night is another visit from the current Elite league champions as the Stars aim to prevent Adam Keefe’s men from taking another two points from the DIA.
On their last visit, the Giants skated out 3-2 winners and that brought the series score between the two sides to three victories for Dundee and two for the Giants.
After a 4-3 win and 4-1 loss for Dundee at home, Kroeker is the Stars leading scorer at home versus Belfast, as the young Canadian has two goals and assist.
Curtis Hamilton leads the Northern Irish side in goalscoring on Tayside as he has a pair of goals at DIA.
Across the two games, Belfast have outshot the Stars 78-60 but Dundee have a penalty kill of 100 per cent against the Giants.
Sunday’s opposition are the Blaze but it is the Stars first trip to the Skydome of the season and it is also their last trip to the West Midlands of 2019.
From the six matches with Coventry last season, the overall score was tied at 21-21 each and Marquardt netted three times against his former club in the 2018-19 season.
Danny Stewart’s men won three and lost three to Omar Pacha’s side last year and Corcoran netted four goals (three in the Skydome) against his now current employers.
Face off time for Friday’s home game against Belfast is at 7:30pm and Sunday’s away game to Coventry will start at 5:15pm. Buy your tickets for Friday’s home game HERE.