Ice hockey: Clan coach Ryan Finnerty calms title talk

Fife Flyers' disappointing start to the new year contrasted with their results in the tail end of 2014
Fife Flyers' disappointing start to the new year contrasted with their results in the tail end of 2014

Braehead Clan coach Ryan Finnerty refuses to get carried away with title talk despite seeing his side go six points clear at the top of the Elite League.

While their title rivals all dropped points at the weekend, the Glasgow side secured wins over Fife Flyers and Hull Stingrays to boost their hopes of finishing top of the pile.

But Finnerty knows it is still all to play for with 20 games left this term.

"It's good to have six wins in a row just now, but it's important we enjoy the moment and not get caught up with anything else that's going on," said Finnerty.

"It's an exciting time of the year, with five teams all in the hunt for the title, but we're definitely not getting too far ahead of ourselves.

"Confidence is high but we're keeping level-headed about it and taking it day by day."

Clan maintained their excellent form with a 5-1 demolition of Fife before coming from behind to beat Hull Stingrays 4-1.

Leigh Salters struck a double against the Flyers with Derek Roehl, Ben Davies and Stefan Meyer adding goals. Scott Fleming netted the consolation for Fife.

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Ice hockey player attacks opponent

On Sunday at Hull, Yan Turcotte fired the hosts ahead but goals from Neil Trimm, Meyer and two from Scott Pitt turned the game around in Braehead's favour.

Dundee Stars also won their two matches at the weekend, but they needed penalty shots to see off both Edinburgh Capitals and Belfast Giants.

Kevin Quick fired the Tayside men in front in Edinburgh but Caps player-coach Richard Hartmann squared it. Chris Blight secured Dundee's first win in six games with the winning penalty shot.

League champions Belfast were next up and Blight hit the opener only for Colin Shields to level, before Dundee's John Dolan made it 2-1 and Kevin Westgarth equalised.

Penalty shots were needed to settle things and Dolan was the man to give Stars the win.

Following Saturday's capitulation in Glasgow, Fife Flyers hosted Edinburgh Capitals on Sunday and romped to a 9-3 victory.

The Flyers surged into a seven goal lead with a double from Jordan Fulton and one each for Ned Lukacevic, Matt Reber, Jamie Milam, Scott Fleming and Danny Stewart.

Dennis Rix and Riley Emmerson struck back for the Caps, but Reber and Bobby Chaumont scored for Fife. Greg Collins grabbed a late third for the Caps.

It was the second of two losses for Edinburgh this week, who are now without a win in nine games and are having to play without an import for seven more games.

This was part of the punishment handed out to Joe Grimaldi, hit with an 18-game ban by EIHL bosses after his altercation with Nottingham Panthers' Max Parent last week.

The club were also hit with a 10-game one-man import ban but despite the adversity in form and personnel, Caps forward Emmerson insists the team is still positive.

"A lot of the bounces aren't going our way," he said. "So we have to go back to basics and at the same time, keep our positivity up and hope our luck changes soon.

"We had that great run a few weeks ago so we know we can get back to that. We just need a greasy win to help get our confidence back.

"It's been an interesting last couple of weeks with everything going on, but we're still working hard and doing the right things."

RESULTS

Saturday

Braehead Clan 5-1 Fife Flyers

Edinburgh Capitals 1-2 Dundee Stars (PS)

Sunday

Dundee Stars 3-2 Belfast Giants (PS)

Fife Flyers 9-3 Edinburgh Capitals

Hull Stingrays 1-4 Braehead Clan

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