EIHL Review: Clan finally join the party

Mathieu Roy scores Glasgow Clan's first competitive goal since March 2020 (PHOTO: William Cherry/Press Eye)

It’s been a long time coming, after so much waiting and anticipation, Glasgow Clan finally made their Elite League bow this season and it was worth the wait.

Only a late Lewis Hook goal denied them what would have been at least a point in the SSE Arena and coach Malcolm Cameron was left pleased, but deflated in the end.

Not bad considering the ridiculous rumours doing the rounds that the club had gone bust.  Even in the face of two games and the great news Braehead Arena was in the hands of the club, as was announced on Saturday.

If any proof is needed this is a club at the start of what could be a great journey ahead, this performance against the Giants surely typified it.

Scott Conway’s early shorthanded goal would have triggered a massive collective eye roll in the west of Scotland area, but if anything, it was an early setback at the very least.

The manner of Mathieu Roy’s equaliser showed he still had the golden touch as Tyler Beskorowany could do nothing about it other than to watch it flash by him.

Shane Starrett’s save from Ben Lake, not surprisingly, ended up on the EIHL’s Saves of the Week video, but he was helpless as Jordan Boucher finished off the rebound to restore the lead.

Giants were needing a confidence boost after their 7-1 humbling at Sheffield Steelers on Saturday and thought they had it until Dyson Stevenson sniped a delicious shot into the Giants net to level again.

Only when Hook got enough space to redirect the shot past Starrett for the game winner with three minutes to go then the home fans and players could finally force a smile.

While the Challenge Cup campaign has gone almost as well as it could, the league form needs some fine tuning for the Giants and Adam Keefe, on his return to the bench after Covid isolation, will have work to do this week.

Cameron knows his team are far from the finished article,  but another good week of training can only be a positive as they start to build towards a trip to Coventry Blaze on Sunday.

Not looking too bad for a team who are out of business.

Ben Churchfield’s decision to move ins understandable, but disappointing (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

OTHER TALKING POINTS

  • The release of netminder Ben Churchfield from Sheffield Steelers raises questions about the use of British goalies in the league, for which this isn’t the piece. But his decision to move and pursue opportunities in North America shouldn’t come as a surprise given his age and his need to play regular hockey.  Is it a warning to other young netminders in the UK?
  • Speaking of netminders, how good was Will Kerlin for Nottingham Panthers against Manchester Storm?  Great to see him given the game time and the way he handled the penalty shots was top drawer stuff.
  • Nearly a month has passed since Fife Flyers announced the return of Chase Schaber, but there’s been no sign of him yet. We’re not going to speculate over why he hasn’t suited up, but no communication from the Flyers, a week after saying there would be an update, is frustrating the fans.  Hopefully Chase is okay and will be able to play soon, but after Sunday’s excellent 3-1 win over Cardiff Devils, they may not need him.
  • The form of Dundee Stars must be something of a worry when they lost their two away games at the weekend to Nottingham Panthers, making it only one win in their last nine now. There was big hope and loads of optimism around the club at the start of the season, but the results haven’t come their way.  Can Omar Pacha turn it around soon?
  • And finally, the Challenge Cup group stage. Is it over yet?  Asking for a friend…

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