BLOG: Clan season has been a roller-coaster

Without trying to sound too much like a Ronan Keating song, life is a roller-coaster, and for the Braehead Clan this season has been a story of several ups and downs.

Starting off the campaign with a European adventure and flying high in the Elite League, Clan looked like the team to beat before a dip in form and a plague of injuries began to crush their title hopes.

A defiant and resilient outfit, Ryan Finnerty’s team have managed to bounce back and following their weekend double over Manchester Storm they now have their sights set on Gardiner Conference glory.

The results also put an end to the Storm’s play-off ambitions.

Led from the front by captain Matt Keith, who has been in spectacular form since returning from an injury sustained at the start of February, Braehead are buoyant.

After the victory at Manchester, Keith said: “Things are upbeat in the room. Confidence is a huge part of winning. Finner has talked a lot about knowing what it would take and what is at stake for us to get the Conference.

“There are still two big games this weekend coming up so we aren’t there yet.”

Finnerty praised the impact of Keith and teammate Scott Pitt earlier this week, saying the duo had helped the team get their “confidence and swagger back” during a run of five victories from their last six games.

A double over Edinburgh Capitals in the final weekend of the regular season would see Clan snatch the Conference title away from Fife Flyers at the final hurdle.

The Purple Army will be well aware that despite the Capitals being on an 18-game losing streak, anything can happen in the Elite League.

The Caps helped put the final nail in the coffin to end Clan’s title pursuit last season, and nobody wants to see a repeat of that this year.

Edinburgh sit at the bottom of the table with only two victories in the league since the beginning of December, but everyone is well aware that a team playing for pride can be as dangerous as anybody.

It’s safe to say that all eyes in Scotland – both east and west – will be fixed on Braehead Arena and Murrayfield this weekend.

In a league as tightly contested as the EIHL, it’s no surprise that the final weekend looks as if it will provide an abundance of excitement for the fans, and that’s without even shifting the focus to who will potentially win the title.

Either way, some fans will end up delighted and others will be heartbroken, but I guess that’s just the beauty of our sport.

What a time to be a fan of Elite League ice hockey!

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