Scottish ice hockey: Braehead Clan on a roll with three wins

By Craig AndersonBBC Sport Scotland
Edinburgh beat west coast rivals Braehead at the weekend

Braehead Clan moved up to second in the table after winning three out of three over the weekend.

Friday's 4-3 win over Fife Flyers was followed by consecutive 4-0 victories against Edinburgh Capitals and Dundee Stars.

"We've had two shut outs and a big home win on our return after five weeks on the road and you can't ask for more than that," said head coach Ryan Finnerty.

"Playing three in three nights is never easy, but we've got out of this with full points and now we can get some much needed rest.

"We're not kidding ourselves though. There are areas we need to improve on and Wednesday's game with Nottingham Panthers will give us the chance to measure this team."

A sell-out crowd of over 3,500 at Braehead Arena witnessed Friday's victory, with Ned Lukacevic opening for the Flyers before Scott Pitt and Neil Trimm replied.

Flyers' Jamie Milam levelled before Pitt added his second to make it 3-2, with Tristan Harper adding to the tally and Scott Fleming notching a late third for Fife.

Braehead continued the run into Saturday with a comfortable success over Edinburgh Capitals, who are now five games without a win.

Matt Haywood opened the scoring late in the first period with Trimm adding a second during the middle period.

Matt Keith and Leigh Salters made sure of the points with goals in the third period as Clan goalie Kyle Jones blanked the Caps for the second time this season.

He did it again in Dundee 24 hours later as the Clan repeated the scoreline over the Stars to clinch six points out of six.

Trimm scored two in the first period before Keith and Lee Esders added their names to the scoresheet, consigning Dundee to a miserable weekend.

Jeff Hutchins' side returned from a 7-1 thrashing by Belfast Giants on Saturday to set the tone on what became a disappointing couple of days.

Ray Sawada, Mark Garside, David Phillips and Darryl Lloyd had the Giants four up without reply before Igor Gongalsky pulled one back for the Stars.

Garside added his second with Mike Kompon and Robby Sandrock scoring six and seven for Belfast to round off a poor night for the Tayside men.

Player-coach Hutchins remains defiant though and insists there is no reason to panic after just one league win in seven.

He said: "There are too many errors in the team, particularly individual ones and the chances we did get, we didn't bury.

"I'm still behind the guys we have in this team and we're going to fight through. Fife were in a similar position last year and turned it around."

As for Fife Flyers, they followed Friday's loss at Braehead with a penalty shots win and a slender loss to Nottingham Panthers.

On Saturday at the National Ice Centre, Ned Lukacevic's penalty shot proved decisive in a 4-3 victory.

Greg Jacina and Evan Mosey saw their early goals cancelled out by Kyle Haines and Lukacevic before Chris Lawrence restored the home side's lead.

Matt Nickerson got the equaliser to take the game in overtime then penalty shots, where Lukacevic came up with the goods.

However, the Panthers got their own back in Kirkcaldy on Sunday, snatching a 2-1 win in a tightly-fought contest.

Matt Reber opened the scoring for the Flyers but that was cancelled out minutes later by Lawrence and Jacina's strike midway through the final period proved decisive.



Braehead Clan 4-3 Fife Flyers


Belfast Giants 7-1 Dundee Stars

Edinburgh Capitals 0-4 Braehead Clan

Nottingham Panthers 3-4 Fife Flyers (PS)


Dundee Stars 0-4 Braehead Clan

Fife Flyers 1-2 Nottingham Panthers