By Sanjeev Mann
It WAS a mixed weekend for The Braehead Clan as they returned to Glasgow with a win and a loss from Manchester.
Braehead came out with a 4-3 victory on Saturday night but fell to a disappointing 5-2 loss a day later at the Silver Blades Ice rink. It was ex-Clan coach Ryan Finnerty who ended the weekend on winning terms after the Canadian swapped Manchester for Glasgow at the end of last season.
It was an entertaining first fixture on Saturday night and The Storm got on the score sheet first, but The Clan equalised early in the second through Craig Peacock.
The second period ended 2-2 however the home team took the lead once again but Braehead drew level and during the third Lepine scored the winning goal after diverting the puck passed Storm net minder Mike Clemente.
Since the turn of the year, The Clan have not been in great form and have only won two fixtures out of their 10 January games. and find themselves languishing eighth in the Elite Ice hockey League Table having played 40 games so far.
For Clan match highlights Click here.
Its been a poor season for The Clan so far going by the last three seasons and their title push seems a long time ago. I caught up with some Braehead Clan season ticket holders to find out their thoughts.
A supporter who wanted to remain anonymous said: “It has but personally I didn’t think we were going to be taking the league by storm this season. The league is so much better than before that we are now seeing the ‘big teams’ beat on regular occasions by the ‘smaller teams’. New coach to a league he is not familiar with, i think he has done a good job with the tools that he has got and we are still in with a shot of making the playoffs. Teams are always a bit iffy to start with until they get to know each other’s skill sets and plays. Longer they play together the better they gel.”
Another season ticket holder George Houston said: “I think at the start of this season we played poor, but now since Christmas we seemed to have turned a corner. I think the problem from last year is that a lot of our older players have left now. We’ve had to bring new players in and theres always going to be a problem to get them to mix well. Hopefully this time next year if we manage to keep the same squad of players we can be fighting at the top of the table.”
On the other hand, Fife are flying high in third, and enjoying one of their best seasons to date although they to had a mixed weekend. A 4-3 away defeat on Saturday at the hands of Dundee Stars was followed by a 3-2 home win against The Nottingham Panthers.
Neither side could break the deadlock in the first period but The Panthers finally went ahead in the 37th minute to save a goaless second period.
The Flyers got themselves back on track in the third with goals from Bloodoff and the visitors levelled again but with three minutes left on the clock, Iain Young coming to the rescue with a winner – ending a four game losing streak for Fife.
Staying on the east coast, The Edinburgh Capitals had another miserable weekend losing twice on home ice.
The first defeat was at the hands of Guildford Flames and this was followed by a 6-3 loss against Dundee Stars.
These two results see the Edinburgh-based team still firmly sit at the foot of the table with eight wins and nine points after 34 fixtures.
Talking of the Dundee Stars, they had a successful weekend with vital victories over Scottish opposition beating Fife 4-3 as well as the victory in Edinburgh. However, even after a good run of results, The Stars find themselves 11th and eight points clear of The Capitals.
Stay tuned for some thoughts from Braehead Clan supporters and season ticket holders on how the season has gone so far.
Here are the full results from Scottish sides:
Dundee Stars 4-3 Fife Flyers (OT)
Edinburgh Capitals 2-4 Guildford Flames
Manchester Storm 3-4 Braehead Clan
Edinburgh Capitals 3-6 Dundee Stars
Fife Flyers 3-2 Nottingham Panthers
Manchester Storm 5-2 Braehead Clan
For the full league table Click here.