Russell praised by Clan captain

Braehead Clan captain Matt Keith was pleased to see back-up netminder Gary Russell get his chance – but regrets he and his team didn’t do more to help him.

The young Scot made his Elite League debut in Sunday’s 6-3 loss to Coventry Blaze after regular goalie Chris Holt was benched by Head Coach Ryan Finnerty.

Keith felt Russell performed well despite the result not going the way of the team and says they didn’t react in the right way following Saturday’s defeat to Sheffield.

He said: “Gary came in and did well for us, even though it wasn’t an easy situation for him to come into. He doesn’t get the opportunity to play a lot so to come off a long journey, he battled hard.

“He’s a good teammate and works very hard so it was great to see him back there tonight. I’m just sorry we couldn’t help him more with the opportunities.

“It’s tough to pinpoint what went wrong for us at the weekend. Obviously it was frustrating after the way we played last weekend and losing the way we did on Saturday.

“But we didn’t bounce back with the right effort and we didn’t do enough to get a road win or even play the way we should have.

“Whether you win a big one or lose a big one, you wipe the slate clean and go again, but it just didn’t happen for us.”

Clan don’t play at home again for a couple of weeks, so it’s back to life on the road when they visit Manchester Storm for the first time on Saturday before going to Sheffield Steelers.

Keith says his role over the coming days will be significant as the team look to bounce back from a run that sees them with only one win in their last six.

He added: “Responsibility starts with me as well as some of the older guys that have been around a while. It’s frustrating and what happened is playing on everyone at the moment.

“You have to try and be positive going into the two road games next week. We’ll look at it over the next couple of days and I’ll certainly take the time to go over how I played.

“We have the personnel here so it’s about going out and getting the job done and making sure we’re all on the same page.”

(Image permission: Carol Ann Jardine)

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