Braehead Clan become the first Scottish team to reach EIHL Playoff Weekend
The Braehead Clan have become the first team to book their place in the playoff weekend in Nottingham next weekend, becoming the first Scottish team to feature in the EIHL Semi-Finals after defeating the Nottingham Panthers.
Braehead took a 4 – 0 win in the first leg of their playoff quarter final against last years champions, and despite falling X – X in the second leg, they won X – X over the two legs to book their place.
Nottingham took an early lead to attempt a game-two comeback, Matt Francis found the back of the net just three and a half minutes in with Petr Kalus and Jonathan Weaver picking up the assists.
Ash Goldie continued his impressive form, after finishing the season with 51 points in 40 games, the 33-year old Canadian had a three point night in game-one and netted the Clans first of game two 10 minutes in for his fourth point of the playoffs.
Neither team could light the lamp for the remainder of the first or second period, leaving the Panthers a mountain to climb in the third as they trailed 5 – 1 over all.
The Clan cemented their place In the playoff weekend in the third, first Kevin Bergin found the net, with Ash Goldie picking up the assist less than 5 minutes into the final frame, then Matt Towe found the net with less than 10 minutes to play, giving Braehead a 7 – 1 overall lead over last years grand slam winners.
Braehead weren’t done there, and not was Ash Goldie who picked up his second goal of the game and sixth point of the playoffs which was the end of Craig Kowalski in the Panthers cage as Dan Green replaced him.
Green couldn’t keep the relentless Clan at bay during his short stint in the cage, after assisting on two goals already, and coming off a three-point night in game one, Joel Champagne put the final nail in the coffin, with the Braehead Clan taking a massive 5 – 1 win in game two giving them a 9 – 1 victory over the two legs to secure their place as the first Scottish team ever to reach the playoff weekend.
The Clan won’t be alone as far as Scottish teams go in the playoff weekend, the Fife Flyers and Dundee Stars had a tight contest in game on of their quarter final, with the Flyers taking a 4 – 3 win thanks to a two-goal night from Bobby Chaumont.
The two Scottish rivals will go head-to-head again tomorrow night to decide which team will be the second Scottish side to make the playoff weekend.
Also in action on Saturday night, the Sheffield Steelers look to end their two-years without qualifying for the playoff weekend as the defeated the Coventry Blaze 3 – 2 but will go into Tuesdays game-two a man down after forward Jeff Legue left the game with a broken jaw after a slapshot from team-mate Chris Blight caught him in the face.
The EIHL will have a change of playoff champion this year, after the Nottingham Panthers have won the trophy three years running, most peoples bets would be on the Belfast Giants to add to their trophy cabinet by adding their second playoff championship in the Elite League era.