Braehead look to capitalise on Steelers’ free weekend

Ben O'Connor

Ben O'Connor

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Braehead Clan are planning on cashing in on Sheffield Steeleers’ inactivity this weekend.

On Thursday night, they beat Edinburgh Capitals 6-3 to move three points behind second-place Steelers.

Clan have two games in hand on Steelers, who are not icing this weekend due to the international break - they have Ben O’Connor and Jonathan Phillips on duty with Great Britain in the Olympic Qualification Preliminary Round Group G tournament in Cortina, Italy.

Ryan Finnerty’s Clan, who are many people’s favourites to become Elite League champions, are targeting four points from Saturday’s game at Manchester Storm and Sunday’s return home game against the north west club.

Storm are in free-fall, having lost their last four games, and are second from bottom, so the Glasgow side will be confident of overtaking Steelers.

Two Clan wins this weekend wold place Braehead three points behind league leaders Cardiff Devils - but the consensus is that the Scots have an ‘easier’ run-in.

Meanwhile, GB play their second group match this afternoon against Serbia (4pm).

On Sunday, they face off against Italy (7.45pm.)

Defenceman O’Connor says GB can build on Thursday’s 6-5 victory over Netherlands. GB were made to work for their win as they played the first game in their quest to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

O’Connor said: “We did not have it all our own way, that is for sure.

“Netherlands came out strong and played very well and took the game to us.

“But we can build on this result and take the positives from it. We were not at our best but we still found a way to win an important game.

“We could’ve let our heads drop when we were up against it.

“But there is great determination in this GB team and that shone through, especially in the third period.”