By Kris Smith
The Stars were victorious in Belfast for a second time last Saturday as they won on their third visit to the SSE Arena which was the fourth tie between the two clubs this season.
Last week, Matt Marquardt and Anthony Beauregard were highlighted as players that have excelled against the Giants so far this season and both managed to add to their points tallies.
Both players found the net and Marquardt also assisted on Beauregard’s goal and that has taken their totals to six and seven points respectively.
Dundee netminder, Alex Leclerc also put in another outstanding performance against the Northern Irish club.
The Canadian goaltender made 43 stops in the last match and that takes his total save count to 168 or 91.8 per cent, in four games with Belfast.
Despite only playing a single game last week, there has been some movement in the Stars stats tables.
Elgin Pearce and Marquardt are now tied-top goal scorers in the league for Stars with eight goals each, but Kevin Dufour still leads the team in points with 16 in league matches.
Although, with the Stars back in Challenge Cup action this weekend, here are a reminder of the statistics leaders in the cup phase.
Dufour tops scoring with seven goals, Egils Kalns has been the most creative with six assists but Dufour has combined for the most points which is 10, he also has the most powerplay goals with three strikes on the man advantage.
Kalns also leads the team in penalty minutes with 29 and each of Dundee’s wins in Group A has had a different game-winning-goal scorer.
Drydn Dow, Colton Kroeker, Duncan Speirs, Dufour and Beauregard have each netted a point securing goal during the group stages.
There are quite a few players heading into Week 13 on point streaks, coming in hot from last weekend is Marqaurdt who has five points from the last three matches and just behind him is Dow with five in the last four.
Jagger Dirk then follows with four in three and Kalns along with Shawn Boutin have collected three in the last two, while Pearce has a point per game in the previous pair of matches.
Again, with the team back to playing cup games, there are still a few point streaks from the group stage carrying over.
Dufour and Kalns have the highest scoring streaks with five points in the last three group fixtures while, Boutin and Marquardt hold a point per game average from the last three and Craig Gans picked up three in the last two.
CHALLENGE CUP HISTORY
Dundee have a mixed history in the Challenge Cup, despite qualifying for the Quarter-Finals stage for eight straight seasons, they have never made it past the last eight, but this can be their best chance yet.
This is the first time that the Tayside side have faced the Glasgow (or Braehead) Clan in the knockout rounds but in previous years they have face the Giants once, Cardiff Devils twice and Sheffield Steelers four times – three of which were in the first three seasons of their now eight year run of making the Quarter-Final stage.
Therefore, looking at this weekend’s opponents, the Stars start off by hosting Glasgow on Friday in the first leg of the Quarter-Finals before they then welcome Coventry Blaze back to the Dundee Ice Arena on Saturday night.
Omar Pacha’s men have a record of 3-1-0 (wins-losses-overtime/shootout losses) against Glasgow this season and the aggregate score over the series now sits at 18-10 in favour of the Stars.
However, it is a bit closer when it comes to scoring chances as Dundee are just out shot by the Clan 129-130.
That gives each team a conversion rate of 13.96 per cent (Dundee) and 7.69 per cent (Glasgow).
After the blistering start they made to the season, it is no surprise to see Dufour and Pearce mentioned again as the Stars top scorers verses the Clan.
Dufour has scored three goals and set up five more for eight points against Zack Fitzgerald’s men but Pearce has scored just a single goal more than him and leads with four lamp-lighters.
Whereas, Glasgow have three players tied as top scorers against Dundee as Jordan Heywood, Scott Pitt and Mathieu Roy have all struck twice this year.
One rare statistic is that both of Leclerc’s assists this season have come against Glasgow, he played a part in the build up to goals in the first and third games.
Saturday’s opponents are Danny Stewart’s Blaze and he left the happier of two coaches in October as Coventry left the DIA with two points in the first meeting between the two clubs in this campaign.
It was a narrow game in which the West Midlands club edged out the home side for a 2-1 win.
Dufour provided Dundee’s goal after Kroeker and Dirk combined to play him through on goal but after Evan Bloodoff had given the visitors the lead, Alex Forbes scored a shorthanded goal to nick the points for Coventry,
The two teams really were even matched as they both had 30 shots on target each but the difference was made on the special teams.
The Stars went zero for four on the powerplay while Coventry converted one in eight but also scored the game-winning-goal whilst shorthanded.
Face off time for this Friday’s Quarter-Final first leg at home against Glasgow is at 7:30pm and it’s a 7pm face-off for Saturday’s league tie with Coventry at the DIA. Buy your tickets HERE