Braehead buoyed by weekend wins over Fife and Hull
Braehead Clan forward Ed McGrane says his team will treat every match like a play-off game.
The Glasgow side finished the weekend with four points for the first time since before Christmas after home wins over Fife Flyers and Hull Stingrays.
And the veteran admits there had been some soul-searching as the Clan sought to arrest recent poor form.
"Hopefully we're back on track and I'll admit that it's been a tough couple of weeks for us," he said. "We got together and did what we had to do to get these big four points.
"A few guys took some time to reflect on where they were going wrong during that bad run and trying to find what made it successful in the first place.
"But the coach did a good job getting us back to the basics and he went over how important the Hull game was for us. Every game is a play-off game from now on in for us."
Beating Fife Flyers 4-2 on Friday at home boosted confidence following four straight league losses.
Shane Lust and Flyers' Ned Lukacevic scored one apiece then Clan's Tristan Harper saw his goal cancelled out by Derek Roehl.
Braehead put the game to bed when Kevin Bergin regained the lead, with Joel Champagne adding the insurance goal with seconds remaining.
Ryan Finnerty's team managed to make it a second win against a Hull Stingrays team that had been without a loss in six and had beaten Clan in their last seven meetings.
A goal in each period saw Matt Towe, Lust and Champagne all find the net, bringing Stingrays' impressive run to a shuddering halt.
The night before, Hull came from behind to beat Dundee Stars 4-2 to turn what was a poor week into an even worse weekend for the Taysiders.
After going down 4-0 to Sheffield Steelers in their Challenge Cup first leg game in midweek, Dundee suffered again as Hull reached that landmark sixth straight win.
Guillaume Doucet cancelled out Nikita Kashirsky's opener for the Stars, but Nico Sacchetti added a second to give Jeff Hutchins' side the lead.
The Stingrays upped the ante in the third period when Sylvain Cloutier, Omar Pacha and one from Pavel Gomeniuk all scored, keeping the great run going, at least until Sunday.
As for Dundee, Sunday's return leg Challenge Cup tie against the Steelers was always an uphill task, but a 6-5 loss on the night ended 10-5 on aggregate.
Goals from Kashirsky, John Dolan, Rory Rawlyk and a double for Sacchetti weren't enough as Dundee couldn't recover.
Stars' skipper Brock McPherson insists the wheels haven't come off his team's hopes for success, despite suffering three consecutive defeats for the first time this season.
Despite losing to Braehead on Friday, Fife recovered to beat old rivals Edinburgh Capitals 5-2.
Richard Hartmann gave Edinburgh the lead, but Flyers replied through Bobby Chaumont and Matt Reber before Lukacevic added a third early in the final period.
Marcis Zembergs pulled a goal back for the Caps, but Chaumont's second killed them off, with Jordan Fulton scoring Fife's fifth to claim the points.
As for the Caps, a first period collapse saw Belfast Giants seal a comfortable 7-2 win in Edinburgh on Sunday.
Hat-tricks from Colin Shields and Dustin Whitecotton clinched the win, despite consolations from Curtis Leinweber and Jade Portwood.
Braehead Clan 4-2 Fife Flyers
Fife Flyers 5-2 Edinburgh Capitals
Hull Stingrays 4-2 Dundee Stars
Braehead Clan 3-0 Hull Stingrays
Edinburgh Capitals 2-7 Belfast Giants
Challenge Cup Quarter Final 2nd Leg
Dundee Stars 5-6 Sheffield Steelers
(Steelers win 10-5 on aggregate)