Summer signing Matt Marquardt has got his Dundee Stars career off to a flying start.
The Canadian, who joined the Tayside club from the Sheffield Steelers where he posted 40 points in his second season in England, came up with two big goals for Omar Pacha’s side at the weekend.
One of them was the game-winning goal against Glasgow Clan.
He said: “It felt great. It is great anytime you can contribute and especially for a winning cause and I am just happy I could pitch in.
“We did not get the result we wanted against Belfast but it was still a great game. Then going into a derby game on Sunday with Glasgow, it really put things over the top to have a good crowd on our side.
“The support from the Stars fans has been great, a lot of fans came out and supported us and it shows on the ice, the boys play with a little bit more of a jump when the building is rocking.”
Marquardt is hoping to put his experience to good use over the course of a long season.
He said: “I think having been in the league for a few years now. I know what to expect as far as gameplay and everyone on our team seems to be settling in well too.
“I would say just having the experience of playing in the Elite League, playing in the play-offs last year and the league final too is something that helps me going forward.
“What makes our team strong is that we have a great mix of youth and experience, we have really good chemistry.”
Marquardt has stepped into his first coaching role as assistant to Pacha.
He said: “I am really enjoying my role with the Dundee Stars. It is different and a unique responsibility but a challenge and I am up for it.
“It adds a different element to my role as a leader at the club. Omar communicated that he wanted experience and leadership to help build a winning culture here and that’s something I was really excited to be a part of.
“Also, with Omar wearing many hats, there is a chance to gain some experience on the hockey operations side of things as well and that was something I could not pass up.
“I would like to coach when my playing days are over and it is a great opportunity to gain knowledge and experience while still playing.
“That said, my assistant coaching role is just to help out in a somewhat different capacity if need be. I’m here to play and play well.
“I want to continue playing as long as I can.”
Ahead of a tough weekend of three games in three nights, Marquardt said: “Belfast is a great team, we saw that on Saturday so it is going to be a tough test especially in their rink. They get the big crowd on their side too.
“It is our first game together on the road so we will see how that goes but it is a big weekend – three-in-threes are never easy.”
Dundee travel to the Northern Irish capital tomorrow to face the Giants in the first of three Challenge Cup Group A matches. They then return to Scotland on Saturday to face the Fife Flyers in Kirkcaldy before hosting Flyers on Sunday evening.
Sunday’s home game against Fife faces-off at 5pm.