By Kris Smith
Stars take-on Steelers for the second time in eight days and will be looking to exact revenge after last weekend’s defeat.
The Kitmart Dundee Stars have just a single fixture this weekend as they host Sheffield Steelers tonight. The Yorkshire club went down 6-5 last night at home to Guildford Flames.
Tom Barrasso’s team currently sit in seventh position in the Elite League standings and are three points clear of Dundee. They are in 10th position, three points ahead of last placed Milton Keynes Lightning. Steelers have played 17 games, two more than Stars and that will increase to three after this weekend but Omar Pacha’s men have the chance to close the gap between the two sides.
In the two previous meetings between them this season, Sheffield have scored seven goals while Dundee have netted just twice. Stars lost on both occasions in Sheffield but pushed their opposition all the way to penalty shots in the first encounter. Following the change of head coach and some players, the Steelers comfortably kept a clean sheet against the Tayside club last weekend. Justin Buzzeo, Jonas Westerling, Josh Pitt and Jonathon Phillips each scored a single goal against Dundee last week.
Pitt leads the Steelers in points and goals with nine goals and seven assists from 17 league games. Lukas Lundvald is his opposite for Dundee, the Dane got back on scoresheet against Belfast last Sunday after the 4-0 loss the night before. Lundvald has 16 points in the last 14 matches and leads Dundee in goals and assists with seven goals and nine assists from 13 league matches.
Steelers have added another player to their roster this week with the signing of Canadian forward, Anthony DeLuca from Thetford Mines Assurancia. The 23-year old also iced for Brampton Beast this season, making a pair of appearances for each club. He joins the Steelers from the same team as former Dundee Stars player, Marc-Olivier Mimar.
Goalkeeper, Matt Climie was brought in before the last meeting between Dundee and Sheffield but is yet to make his debut for the Steelers.
Stars forward, Charles Corcoran says he and his teammates are ready for the challenge.
He said: “As always, Sheffield will be a tough test for us on Sunday, but I think the guys have had a great week of practice and are ready for the challenge.
“We were not at all pleased with our showing down in Sheffield last weekend and are excited to play our game against them.
“When we play the way we want to, we have the ability to beat anyone.”
Corcoran scored his first professional goal on Sunday and despite the loss, he added: “It was nice to get the monkey off the back and score my first pro goal.
“It was a great play by Cowns (Jordan Cownie) to drive the middle and I was lucky to get the puck back after my initial shot.
“It was an unfortunate result, but we are confident in our team moving forward”
Looking to the weekend where they have just a single game, the 23-year old said: “It is nice that we will not be on a bus all day, for a change.
“However, we know in our room when we have weekends like this, we need to produce results and I think we are heading in the right direction in that sense.
“As I mentioned before, we have to play a certain way to be successful and it is no secret that we need to play together in order to be successful.
“We are prepared for the challenge and know it will be tough, but we are excited.”
Face-off is at 5pm tonight and fans should note that it will be cash payments only as Dundee City Council will be carrying out essential maintenance work that affects Dundee Ice Arena.