Elite League preview: Holt relishing Flyers challenge

Braehead Clan netminder Chris Holt is hoping to end his career on a high with success in the Elite League play-offs.

The 30-year-old, who retires at the end of the season, played an integral part in Clan claiming the Gardiner Conference title and he is keen to add the play-off crown to the club’s trophy cabinet.

He said: “You want to win whatever there is to win. People can say winning the Conference isn’t a big deal, but it was something to win and we won it.

“I’ve seen the comments about it being an easier Conference, but I was out there. It was far from easy and it was great to win it.

“Our work isn’t done yet and there’s another trophy to play for. We didn’t win the Challenge Cup or the league, but there are four things to win and we’ve won one of them.

“In hockey, we play for the play-offs and this is where we try and make our mark and propel ourselves to the next level. It’s always an exciting time.”

Clan face Fife Flyers in the quarter-final and Holt says he’s loved the rivalry between the two clubs, which has become one of the biggest in Scottish sport in recent years.

“I’ve enjoyed these games and the majority have been very close. They’ve been very organised since November and I think David Brown is a great goalie.

“It’s going to be a good test. Whether we got Fife or anyone else, it was always going to be a tough one and the fact it is the Flyers gives it extra layers for all the fans.”

Dundee Player/Assistant Coach Bobby Chaumont insists Stars are confident ahead of their play-off tie with Cardiff Devils – but remains wary of them.

The Tayside men are in good form ahead of the two-legged quarter final, with the Devils looking to salvage something from a season that has yielded disappointment so far.

Chaumont said: “We knew whatever match we were going to get would be a tough one and we’ve got the team that just missed out on the Elite League title.

“They lost the league and the Challenge Cup in the last few weeks and this is their last chance to get something from what’s left of the season.

“Their form may not be good just now, but I wouldn’t say there’s ever a good time to get them. They’re going to be angry and will come looking to change that so we have to be ready.

“It should be a great match and our previous meetings this season have all been close games. We’ve turned the corner with our form in recent weeks so we’re confident going forward.

“We came through our slump in form in January and February, so it will definitely be a good challenge for us and we want to continue the momentum we’ve built.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday – play-off quarter-final 1st leg

Cardiff Devils v Dundee Stars
Coventry Blaze v Sheffield Steelers
Fife Flyers v Braehead Clan
Nottingham Panthers v Belfast Giants

Sunday – play-off quarter-final 2nd leg

Braehead Clan v Fife Flyers
Dundee Stars v Cardiff Devils
Sheffield Steelers v Coventry Blaze

Monday – play-off quarter-final 2nd leg

Belfast Giants v Nottingham Panthers

(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)

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