By Kris Smith
The Kitmart Dundee Stars welcome the Glasgow Clan for the second match in two nights at the DIA, with both teams looking to find their first win.
Stars were defeated 4-2 by Challenge Cup group A opponents, Belfast Giants. Meanwhile the other two teams in group A, Glasgow and Fife Flyers faced-off last night in Kirkcaldy, with Flyers taking the extra point after a shootout.
Dundee were behind after just forty seconds and lost another goal in the first period but a debut goal for Fabrizio Ricci just before the intermission cut the deficit in half. Matt Marquardt dented the crossbar with his equalising powerplay goal, thirty seconds after the restart. Belfast regained the lead before the end of the second and secured the points with a fourth goal in the third period. It was a tough game for Dundee and not the result Omar Pacha wanted to start the regular season.
Fife took an early lead and were still up 2-0 after the end of the second period but goals from Josh Gratton, Vaclav Stupka, Travis Ehrhardt and Brendan Connolly put the Clan ahead 4-3. A late equaliser sent the game into overtime then penalty shots where the Flyers emerged victorious.
Pete Russel has just one win from his first five games in charge of the Glasgow club. They played all foreign opposition in preseason and were handed defeats from Fischtown Pinguins (3-0), Dresden Eislowen (5-1) and Mac Budapest (5-4). The Clan won their last preseason game 2-1 against Stavanger Oilers.
Jordan Cownie is confident ahead of what will be a tough test but insists it is important to get off to a good start.
He said: “I definitely think the boys are feeling confident going into Sunday.
“We have had a couple great weeks of practice now and are really excited to get going especially against one of our closest rivals.
“I think it’s huge to get off to a good start it can really kickstart our season in the right direction.”
The 23-year old forward added: “It would be great to get off to a winning start and in my opinion there is no reason that we can’t.
“The league is going to be so competitive this year, every team has improved even from last year.
“On any given night the team who shows up will most likely take the points and with our youth and hunger I’m sure we can use that to our advantage.”
Jordan then shared an insight to the locker room and how hungry the players are to get the season going.
He said: “This year we have a locker room full of professionals so I think each individual knows what it takes to perform night in night out.
“The guys had a taste of the D.I.A rocking last weekend and I know they’re buzzing to get the real games started now!”
Johan Andersson has experienced the Clan in many games last year but says it is “does not matter now” in the new season.
He said: “We had some good games against them last year, but it does not matter now because it is a new season with a lot of new players.
“It is always important to play well, but in the beginning, it helps to get the confidence going.”
The Swede is very experienced and when asked what how he can use his experience to benefit the team, Johan added: “I can just be myself and help guys in the locker room and more importantly, show a hard-working attitude on the ice.”
Face-off is at 5pm and tickets are still available from the DIA box office and online.