PREVIEW: Stars v Lightning

By Kris Smith

The Kitmart Dundee Stars are aiming to bounce back with a win over Milton Keynes Lightning after a disappointing start to 2019.

Last night seen the Stars fall to the Glasgow Clan with Dundee’s only goal coming two minutes from the final buzzer. Matt Haywood gave the visitors the lead before Brendan Connolly doubled it before the first intermission. Two more goals from Matt Beca in the third made it 4-0 but Brian Hart’s late strike robbed Joel Rumpel of a shutout.

The Lightning also suffered a setback in their play-off push campaign as they were beaten 4-3 in Fife yesterday evening. The Flyers late winner left Milton Keynes on a four-game losing streak. Ivan Sijan’s powerplay goal gave Lightning the lead before Paul Crowder tied the game after netting on the powerplay.

Goals from Georgs Golovkovs and Jordan Buesa meant the teams were tied at two a piece after one period. Radek Meidl had given Ryan Lannon’s side the lead before Fife’s Evan Bloodoff equalised on the powerplay.

However, with 39 seconds left in the game, Carlo Finucci’s shorthanded goal won it for the Flyers.

Dundee were only without Matt Bissonnette in last night’s loss but Milton Keynes were without David Norris and goaltender Patrick Killeen. Killeen did not travel to Scotland with the team due to illness and that meant Adam Goss was given the start in Kirkcaldy and will be first choice against Dundee.

Yesterday, Milton Keynes announced the departure of defenceman Clay Anderson, leaving them another body short for their mid-week Scottish double header.

There have been four previous games this season between the Tayside and Buckinghamshire clubs and they have won two each. Each win went to the home team as Dundee won their two games 4-3 (OT) and 5-2. Whereas Milton Keynes took the points with score lines of 3-2 (OT) and 3-0.

Drydn Dow, Lukas Lundvald and Matt Marquardt each have netted two goals against the Lightning this season.

Player-coach, Tim Wallace leads his side in points with 29, nine goals and 20 assists from 32 games. Robbie Baillargeon is MK’s top scorer with 13 goals this season.

Looking ahead to the fixture against Milton Keynes, Stars defender, Shawn Boutin said:

“It is a huge game for us and a chance to climb up the standings, we just have to play our type of hockey and we will have some good chances to win.

“It is going to be a gritty game for sure and we will have to do the little details right.

“MK have a good offensive team and good speed, along with a good goalie so it is going to be a tight game and we have to be ready for them.”

Discussing how important each game is in the second half of the season, the Canadian added:

“Every single game matters, every single play and every goal matters because it is so tight.

“We need to show up every night because anybody can beat anybody in this league this year so we have to be ready.”

Face-off tonight is 7:30pm with tickets available from the DIA box office and online.