PREVIEW: Dundee @ Nottingham

By Kris Smith

The Kitmart Dundee Stars are aiming to recoil from defeat and claim some much needed points in Nottingham on Sunday afternoon.

Dundee’s good start to the three in three weekend was halted by a defeat in Guildford on Saturday night. Stars led after the first thanks to Fabrizio Ricci giving them the lead in the 11th minute but the Guildford Flames struck back in the 35th minute through Kruise Reddick.

The Tayside team were not behind for long as in less than two minutes, Johan Andersson put Dundee back in front. However, after failing to take advantage of the home team’s poor discipline, Stars were then punished by penalties.

Despite killing one, Brett Ferguson tied the game in the 50th minute before Jamie Crooks put the Flames in front on the powerplay three minutes later.

The Nottingham Panthers were also in action on Saturday night as they defeated Manchester Storm 5-2. After a scoreless opening period, the home team stormed into a 3-0 lead with goals from Alex Guptill, Chris Stewart and Alexandre Bolduc. However, Chance Baird got the Storm off the mark in the final minute of the second session.

The third period seen Luke Pither and Tim Billingsley make it 5-1 before Dane Byers rounded off the scoring at 5-2. The only major penalties were handed out to Dallas Ehrhardt and Nottingham’s Guillaume Lepine for fighting, along with an instigator misconduct for the Manchester skater.

Rick Strachan’s men sit in third and secured their playoff spot last night but they were without Dylan Olsen, Joseph Hazeldine, Justin Kovacs and Sam Gospel in their line-up.

Last weekend’s 4-1 defeat to Panthers was not what Omar Pacha was hoping for after stealing two points from Nottingham on the road earlier in the season.

Kevin Henderson and Bolduc gave the home team a 2-0 lead after one period of play before Dylan Richard and Stewart doubled their advantage in the second. Brian Hart then robbed Patrick Munson of a shutout with a late strike in the 58th minute.

After the disappointment of not picking up any points last weekend, which included a loss to Nottingham, Stars forward, Jordan Kelsall, said: “Obviously the results didn’t go the way we liked last weekend and four points were the only thing we were looking for but at this point of the season we cannot dwell and look back on the results.

“We are all working hard on and off the ice to prepare for the games ahead.”

Dundee are aiming to reverse the previous result in Nottingham this Sunday and Kelsall added: “We have been looking at back at the video from that game and improving on our weakness but also looking to see how we had success.

“We’ve had very close games with them all year so there’s no reason why we can’t go into Nottingham on Sunday and get two points.”

With only five games remaining in the regular season and Stars one point outside a playoff spot, the players are pushing even harder to get back into the top eight.

Jordan said: “That is our only focus and we have five games left to do it!

“We are doing everything in our power to make the playoffs and none of us want to be going home after those five games are up.”

This year has been the Englishman’s first on loan and playing against his parent club is just like any other game, according to the 19-year old.

Kelsall continued: “To be honest I just treat it like any other game.

“To me every game is very important whether it is against Nottingham or anyone else in this league.”

Both of Dundee’s playoff rivals are in action tonight as Coventry Blaze welcome Fife Flyers and Manchester Storm host Milton Keynes Lightning.

Face-off for Sunday’s game at the Motorpoint Arena is at 4pm.