Braehead Clan Head Coach Ryan Finnerty thinks Sunday’s game at Manchester Storm was the toughest of their remaining fixtures – but says he will treat Edinburgh Capitals with the utmost respect this weekend.
Clan are now just two wins away from retaining the Gardiner Conference crown after picking up maximum points against the Storm.
Finnerty said: “Manchester deserve a lot of credit for the way they played and they certainly didn’t make it easy for us. It was a good result after a good battle.
“We were able to stay on the gas and find a way through in the end and that’s what we’ve done at various points in the season.
“When you looked at how Manchester had been playing in recent weeks, this was definitely one that was marked in the calendar as a tough game.
“We knew this would be make-or-break as we look to try and take the Conference, but that’s taking nothing away from what lies ahead with Edinburgh next week.
“We’re certainly not taking them lightly – we haven’t won anything yet so we’ll prepare the same way and treat Edinburgh with the same respect we treat everyone.
“It’s far too easy to write teams off in this league and I’ve seen that happen too often in my time, so we’ll prepare the same way and make sure the guys come out and play the right way.
“We didn’t look past this weekend and knew we needed to win both games before we even look forward to the last two games.”
Another two goals from Matt Keith in the third period took him to four with the weekend, level with Scott Pitt (above) who notched four in Saturday’s 8-3 victory over Omar Pacha’s team.
Their contribution since returning to the ice has been invaluable in the run-in and it was a point not lost on the Clan coach.
He added: “I’ve always said when this team stays healthy and stays that way, we’re a force and a good team. This was the sort of game that needed everyone on the bench to play their part.
“We were able to weather the storm and get the powerplay going, which was important for us to get the points.
“Our captain has really stepped it up since he came back and we’ve dropped one game since he and Scott Pitt returned – we have our swagger back.
“It’s huge when you take two men out of your line-up and we’re playing with a lot of confidence right now.”
(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)