By Kris Smith
With a trip to Glasgow up first on Friday night, the eighth-place Stars take on the Elite League’s basement club for the first time in league action, before hosting them on Saturday evening and only three points separate the two sides.
The Stars come into the weekend off the back of last Saturday’s 4-2 home win against their biggest rivals, Fife Flyers as they claimed their third Tayside Derby win of the season.
Goals from Drydn Dow, Elijiah Barriga, Ian Parker and Philippe Sanche lifted them to victory while Anton Svensson prevented the Flyers from taking the lead at any point.
Dundee have also only lost once against any of their Scottish rivals this season, as a 5-2 defeat at home to the Flyers means they are unbeaten away from home in three matches against Glasgow and Fife.
The Tayside team have not met the Clan since September, when they won 4-3 and 3-1 in the Challenge Cup Group Stage, with Ryan Verrier, Hugo Reinhardt (2), Barriga (2) and Colin Joe (2) all finding the net for the Stars.
While, Glasgow forward, Nolan LaPorte has bagged two goals for the Braehead club and Mitch Jones and Gary Haden netted their other two goals against Dundee.
The Clan have also changed coach as Malcolm Cameron departed and player-coach, Stephen Dixon has stepped up to lead the team in the interim, but the Canadian has improved results as his side snapped a five-game losing streak with consecutive wins last weekend.
A 4-1 victory over Coventry Blaze was followed up by a 4-2 victory against Manchester Storm but they will take on a fully fit Stars side.
Looking ahead to the double header against Glasgow, Stars Head Coach, Jeff Mason said: “They are obviously a team that is playing a lot better and they have made a lot of changes.
“They will be feeling good after a four-point weekend but our focus has to be on what we are doing and what makes us successful, but also while being aware of what has changed since we played them last.
“For us, it is really all about playing within our structure and getting contributions from everyone, while making sure we start on time.
“So, essentially the things that make us successful no matter where we are or who we are playing against.”
He continued: “We are trying to build consistency as we have lacked it throughout the season and this would be a good weekend to start by adding to some good recent performances.
“We appreciate the short travel, it beats seven or eight hours on a bus and getting home really late, but at the same time, we have to make sure we take advantage of that and take advantage of a good night’s sleep.
“The big thing for us is getting off to a good start and trying to play from the front because we are a much better team when we are playing with a lead than chasing a game.”
Stars netminder, Anton Svensson believes last Saturday’s Tayside Derby win over Fife has given the team a big lift heading into this weekend’s rivalry games against Glasgow.
He said: “It was a big win against Fife at home but now we get to play two more big derby matches against Glasgow this weekend and it feels great to be heading into that after that big win last week.
“We need to play our game and not focus on how well they played last weekend, because if we play our way then it will be a good weekend for us and potentially four points.
“We are starting to trust our systems and are executing it well, but there also is more trust between every guy in the team, so we have confidence in each other and it is showing on the ice.”
Face-off for tonight’s game in Glasgow is at 7:30pm and tomorrow’s home match begins at 7pm.
All images: Derek Black.