Ice hockey: Dundee Stars seal play-off date with Braehead Clan

Cale Tanaka leads the celebrations as Fife Flyers seal a play-off berth
Cale Tanaka leads the celebrations as Fife Flyers seal a play-off berth

Dundee Stars head coach Marc LeFebvre has called for more of the same after watching his side set up as play-off quarter-final showdown with Braehead Clan.

Stars sealed a seventh-place finish and an Elite League play-off berth courtesy of a 7-5 victory at Fife Flyers on Saturday night, ensuring the 4-3 defeat on Sunday against Flyers was meaningless.

The winners of the all-Scottish play-off progress to the finals weekend in Nottingham in two weeks.

"The big thing for us is to stay the same in terms of our routine and change as little as possible in preparing for the games with Braehead," LeFebvre said.

"But I can definitely smile. The guys put everything on the line to get seventh place.

"Braehead's been a great rival for us this season and we've had some great results against them, but they've also had some great scores against us.

"They have a great team and showed that by winning the Conference, but in the play-offs, anything can happen."

Stars went into Saturday's match in Kirkcaldy needing a point to ensure their play-off place.

Justin Faryna gave them the lead but Chase Schaber replied, before Felix Poulin nudged Dundee ahead only for Carlo Finucci to square it.

Stars kicked on with Joey Sides, Poulin and Scott Brannon sending them 5-2 up, but Matt Sisca and Ryan Dingle pulled Flyers to within one.

Cale Tanaka settled Dundee's nerves late on with a sixth and although Chris Wands pulled another back for Fife, Faryna bookended the scoring to seal the crucial win.

Flyers gained revenge in Sunday night's meaningless fixture, with Phil Paquet (2), Kyle Haines and Dingle on target in a 4-3 triumph.

Fife face Belfast Giants in their play-off quarter final next week.

Braehead go into the quarter-finals on the back of two victories over Edinburgh Capitals, whose play-off hopes ended in the process.

Ryan Finnerty's men won 8-5 on Saturday. Alex Leavitt's opener for Clan was cancelled out by Sean Beattie, but Corey Cowick and Leavitt made it 3-1 after the first period.

Caps turned the game around and were leading 4-3 after the second session through two goals from Karel Hromas and one from Matt Tipoff.

However, Braehead squared it through Stefan Della Rovere before Matt Haywood's hat-trick and Leavitt's third gave them an 8-4 advantage, with Garrett Milan scoring Edinburgh's fifth late on.

It was back to Murrayfield on Sunday and the Capitals signed off their season with a point, but went down 4-3 after penalty shots as Braehead made it a four point weekend.

Ian Schultz fired Edinburgh in front but Matt Beca equalised before Tipoff put the home side ahead late in the third period.

Beca added his and Braehead's second early in the third period with Jay Rosehill putting the Clan in front shortly after before Mason Wilgosh took the game into overtime with Caps' equaliser.

Penalty shots were needed to decide the game and it was Beca with two of them that secured the win as attention now turns to the play-offs next week.

Weekend results

Saturday

Braehead Clan 8-5 Edinburgh Capitals

Fife Flyers 5-7 Dundee Stars

Sunday

Dundee Stars 2-4 Fife Flyers

Edinburgh Capitals 3-4 Braehead Clan (PS)

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