Friday: Focus back on the title

March 15, 2019 8:56 am

It’s back to the title and playoff races tonight in the Elite Ice Hockey League, with games involving teams from both ends of the table – and everyone looking to start the weekend in a positive way.

1900 Belfast Giants vs. Coventry Blaze (Tickets | Webcast)

With the successful defence of their Challenge Cup title behind them, it’s back to league action for Belfast who welcome a Coventry side coming in off the back of a four-point weekend. The sides will also meet tomorrow as pat of a back to back series.

The Giants are now level on games played with Cardiff and trail the leaders by four points, leaving them little margin for error with seven games to go. No home defeats to EIHL opposition in 2019 so far has the hosts in confident mood.

Coventry’s wins over Milton Keynes last weekend moved them level on points with Manchester in the last playoff place, but by virtue of wins they still sit outside the Top 8. This is one of the Blaze’s two games in hand over the Storm, so any points against a team chasing the title would be useful.

At home On road
Giants Blaze
Av. Goals For 4.32 3.64
Av. Goals Against 2.36 3.96
Win % 88.00% 40.00%

 

1930 Glasgow Clan vs. Dundee Stars (Sold out)

A sold out arena awaits the Scottish derby between Glasgow and Dundee, in a game the visitors really can’t afford to lose if they’re to keep their playoff hopes alive.

While their playoff place is already assured, the Clan are trying to hold on to third position in the table, which they currently have by a point over Nottingham, but will want to get back to some better form after losing five of their last six games.

It’s always good to get a few days off, we’ve played a lot of away games against the top teams as well. We’re in a good position and looking to push forward to the playoffs. We’ve been good at home, we’d have great crowds and it’s fun to go in there when it’s like this. We’ll have to be ready to work hard, Dundee are a good team and are scraping for everything to try to make the playoffs, but we need to keep away from Nottingham below us.” – Pete Russell (Head Coach, Glasgow Clan)

Dundee on the other hand are fast running out of games to make up the points they need to get into the playoffs. The Stars are three points behind as they head into a ‘three in three’ road series, with visits to Guildford and Nottingham yet to come.

We know the importance of every single game now, there are seven games left and we have to make sure we are ready and prepared for every single game and to push the pace. We have been struggling in certain areas like scoring goals and that is maybe something to focus on as we want to score more now. We had a good meeting early in the week to try to clean the slate and just look at these last seven games as the biggest in our playoff push and our last stretch. There is motivation, I think guys know that we are still in a good position but we just have to win some hockey games.” – Omar Pacha (Head Coach, Dundee Stars)

At home On road
Blaze Stars
Av. Goals For 4.15 2.48
Av. Goals Against 2.81 3.80
Win % 65.38% 24.00%

 

 

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