Scottish ice hockey: Disappointing start for Braehead Clan

Braehead lost heavily on their first visit to Ice Arena Wales
Braehead Clan lost heavily on their first visit to Ice Arena Wales

Coach Ryan Finnerty insists there is no panic at Braehead Clan after losing their opening two Elite League games in disappointing fashion.

Defeats to Nottingham Panthers and Cardiff Devils left the Glasgow side without a point over the weekend as the new campaign stalled at the start.

A frustrated Finnerty stressed that the level of performance will not be tolerated.

"This team is nowhere near the level it can compete at," he said. "We're going through some growing pains and we're not clicking.

"It's pretty tough to analyse when we just didn't get going. We're struggling killing penalties right now and on Sunday, Cardiff got the momentum from that first goal.

"We're two games into the regular season and we're definitely not panicking. In saying that, this isn't accepted by any stretch of the imagination.

"We have some decisions to make and have to see a lot more out of a lot of players. These two losses won't dictate our season. We're at the start of the marathon."

In Saturday's 4-1 loss to Nottingham Panthers Clan started well with Scott Pitt opening the scoring, before the tide turned, with Matt Carter, Dan Spang, Chris Lawrence and Eric Lindhagen on target for the visitors.

Clan went to the Cardiff on Sunday and ended up on the wrong end of a 5-1 defeat in their first visit to Ice Arena Wales.

Joey Martin's early goal set the Devils on their way before Layne Ulmer added a second minutes later to open a two-goal first period lead.

Alex Leavitt pulled one back, but the home side scorched ahead through Matthew Myers and two from Jake Morrissette clinched a convincing victory.

Nottingham began their three-game Scottish odyssey at Dundee Stars on Friday and left Tayside with a 3-1 victory.

Two from David Clarke and one from Jeff Dimmen was enough to take the points from Marc LeFebvre's side, despite Stars captain Joey Sides pulling one back.

Looking for a full compliment of six points, Nottingham made their way to Fife Flyers on Sunday but Todd Dutiaume's men denied them in a 4-1 win.

Chase Schafer's second period opening goal was cancelled out by Jeff Brown in the third period, but Matt Sisca, Justin Fox and Ryan Dingle completed a good night's work for the hosts.

The Flyers began the weekend with a Challenge Cup loss at Belfast Giants on Saturday, who took revenge for their 5-2 defeat in Kirkcaldy the week before.

Matt Towe gave the Giants a second period lead, but Justin Fox cancelled it out before Mike Forney restored the advantage.

Brandon Benedict made it 3-1 in the third, which was pulled back by David Turon before Forney's empty net finish claimed the points.

Dundee Stars, after their loss on Friday, made up for it with a crushing 8-3 win over Edinburgh Capitals in their Challenge Cup opener.

Ben Edmonds and Tommaso Traversa put the Stars two up before Yevgeni Fyodorov pulled one back for the Caps. Cale Tanaka and Vinny Scarsella then opened up a 4-1 lead for the visitors.

Garrett Milan picked up a second for Edinburgh before the second interval, but two from Felix-Antoine Poulin, with another from Scarsella in between those made Dundee's lead unassailable.

Fyodorov picked up his second to reduce the arrears, but Tanaka did the same thing to clinch the victory for LeFebvre's side in emphatic style.

WEEKEND RESULTS

Friday

Elite League:

Dundee Stars 1-3 Nottingham Panthers

Saturday

Elite League:

Braehead Clan 1-4 Nottingham Panthers

Challenge Cup:

Belfast Giants 4-2 Fife Flyers

Sunday

Elite League:

Cardiff Devils 5-1 Braehead Clan

Fife Flyers 4-1 Nottingham Panthers

Challenge Cup:

Edinburgh Capitals 3-8 Dundee Stars

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