Cardiff Preview

By Kris Smith

Stars are aiming to extend their winning run with a fourth straight league victory and their first over the defending champions this season.

The Kitmart Dundee Stars head south to face Cardiff Devils on Sunday and are looking to continue their recent stretch of successive wins. Dundee were without Jordan Kelsall in last night’s 4-2 win over Coventry Blaze.

Stars pulled off a third period comeback from 2-1 down with goals from François Bouchard, Charles Corcoran and a brace from Mike Sullivan helping them to the win. Netminder, Pontus Sjögren returned to the line-up and made 22 saves for his fifth Elite League win of the season.

Meanwhile across the Tay, Cardiff came back from two goals down to put eight past the Flyers and claim an 8-3 win on the road. Gleason Fournier, Justin Faryna, Mike Hedden (2), Joey Martin, Joey Haddad, Sam Duggan and Layne Ulmer were all on the scoresheet and the Devils scored once on three powerplay attempts. Ben Bowns made 23 saves to backstop them to the win.

There have been three previous meetings this year between Cardiff and Dundee and the Welsh outfit have won all of them. The first was a 3-2 overtime loss in Dundee before Stars fell away in third period to lose 5-2 on the road. Cardiff claimed the most recent tie by a score of 6-3.

Jordan Cownie and Lukas Lundvald have both scored a pair of goals against the Devils and the Dane also has three assists in games versus Cardiff. Stephen Dixon has a trio of goals against the Tayside club while Charles Linglet and Joey Martin each have netted two goals against Stars.

Cardiff’s Linglet leads his side in points with 27 from 18 games and is also their top scorer with 18 goals.

Since their last meeting, Cardiff have signed 29-year old defenceman Drew Schiestel, a former NHL draft pick by Buffalo Sabres in 2007.

Stars forward, Fabrizio Ricci expects another good challenge against Cardiff, he said: “We believe that we can compete with any team in this league when we play structured and disciplined in the system.

“Cardiff is a great challenge for us and has been throughout the season so far, we will do what we have to do to compete against a strong team like that and give ourselves the best chance of getting two crucial points.”

“I think when playing a team as experienced and dangerous as Cardiff, staying focused and structured within our specific game plan is key, trying to limit as many mistakes as possible and trust the process within.

“You cannot give a team like that easy opportunities to attack and score goals.

“We have to be tough and sharp and play a simple tight game.”

Discussing what has changed in recent weeks to turn around their poor form, the Canadian added: “Effort and Discipline.

“I think as a whole we have continued to push ourselves in practice and games, in efforts to steer the season in the right direction.

“We all knew that what we were doing was not sufficient, so we came together as a team and found something that worked for us and will continue to work for us to keep us on the winning side of the fence.”

Looking back on last weekend’s wins over Fife and how it has boosted the morale in the dressing room, Ricci said: “The recent wins have helped boost the morale in the room for sure, but we know it is important not to get too high and loose.

“It was a solid weekend that won us 4 points against a good team, we know as a club that in order to continue the success we need to stay grounded and continue to be our best in practice and in games.”

Tonight’s game will face-off at 6pm.