Braehead Clan netminder Gary Russell was delighted to finally make his first start for the club – but fully expects to be back on the bench this weekend.
The former Solway Sharks goalie deputised for Chris Holt in Sunday’s 6-3 defeat to Coventry Blaze and is keen for more now that he’s got a taste of it.
He said: “It was a relief to get on the ice for my first start and I was pretty happy with it. I got told just before the game when Finner gave me the nod and I got mentally prepared from there.
“I heard the interview with the coach late on Saturday, so on Sunday I knew there was a chance of me playing and got myself ready as best I could.
“I’m not going to lie, now I’ve had a taste of it I want more and I’m always looking for more ice time as and when I can get it.
“I would expect to be back on the bench on Saturday when we go to Manchester Storm. Chris will be refreshed and may feel he’ll have a point to prove.
“He told me before the game on Sunday to enjoy it out there and play the way I’d been playing in practice. He was more than happy for me to get my chance.”
Russell says the one thing he has had to adapt to is the transition from playing every week, like he did at Solway, to lengthy spells on the bench for the Clan.
But he doesn’t let that affect him and ‘Rusty’ continues to work as he always did, just in case he gets the nod from the coach.
He added: “I came from Solway in the summer and the main difference for me is the fact that I don’t play every week, which was difficult to get used to at the start.
“But I’ve learned to adapt, plus I enjoy working with ‘Holtsy’. He’s a good goalie and a great guy to be around.
“I just take every game as it comes and prepare the same way every time on the off chance that I’m needed to go out there.
“Working with a guy like Chris and his experience, I’m constantly pushing myself to be better and making sure I’m ready to play when the time comes.”
(Image permission: Carol Ann Jardine)