Sunday: Look ahead to today’s four games

March 17, 2019 8:30 am

Four games across Sunday start with the race for the playoffs, and end with a key battle for the league title and playoff seeding.

1600 Nottingham Panthers vs. Dundee Stars (Tickets)

A second home game in as many nights for the Panthers, and a third on the road for the Stars, is the setting to this afternoon’s meeting in Nottingham.

The Panthers secured their playoff place last night, and now focus on finishing as high as they can. Already a point clear in third of Glasgow, they have the chance to extend that lead despite having played a game more.

We have to approach this game with the same mindset as Manchester did last night – they’re going to force us to work. We have to stick to our game plan, manage the play, and not give them turnovers.” – Rick Strachan (Head Coach, Nottingham Panthers)

Dundee’s loss in Guildford yesterday left them only a point behind the playoff places, but having played a game more than Coventry they’re running out of time to make up that differential. The Stats went down 4-1 in Nottingham last weekend, and will now have to end the Panthers’ four-game home winning streak to keep their place push in a healthy place.

I think we played well enough yesterday to win a hockey game. The guys can’t get too down though – I loved the way we worked and our commitment, and now tonight is the biggest game of the season.” – Omar Pacha (Head Coach, Dundee Stars)

At home On road
Panthers Stars
Av. Goals For 3.11 2.56
Av. Goals Against 2.64 3.67
Win % 64.29% 25.93%

 

1715 Coventry Blaze vs. Fife Flyers (Tickets | Webcast)

Coventry’s three-game weekend ends tonight back on home ice. After two games in Belfast, the Blaze return home to face a Flyers side playing their second road game of the weekend.

Coventry played well in both of their defeats to Belfast over the past two nights, but come back home with no points to show for their efforts. They still tie Manchester for the last playoff place, but miss out on count-back with fewer wins. A home win is almost vital for them against a team they’ve not beaten at home this season.

Going to Belfast and playing two physical games isn’t easy, but this is a big crucial game for us now. We have to be ready for it, as we just cannot afford to end this weekend without any points.” – Danny Stewart (Head Coach, Coventry Blaze)

Fife’s third period saw them come away from Milton Keynes with an important two points, and if they were to beat the Blaze in regulation they would be only a point away from mathematically clinching their spot in the playoffs.

Coventry is always a tough building to play in, and they’re a very dangerous team to play against. Danny has them playing very well, and they’re a team we’ve had some games go both ways against.” – Todd Dutiaume (Head Coach, Fife Flyers)

At home On road
Blaze Flyers
Av. Goals For 3.52 3.08
Av. Goals Against 3.67 3.73
Win % 48.15% 38.46%

 

1730 Manchester Storm vs. MK Lightning (Tickets | Webcast)

Manchester slipped up in Milton Keynes a few weeks ago, but have no room to make that kind of error this evening at the Storm Shelter.

Coming off the back of a loss in Nottingham, the Storm are still hanging on to the last playoff place with Coventry and Dundee chasing, the Storm have the chance to possibly go a couple of points clear, depending on other results.

We have to focus on what we did well against Nottingham, and the little things that we did to create pressure and shots. We have to clean up our own zone a bit, but at this stage of the season you must have short memories and move on to the next game very quickly.” – Ryan Finnerty (Head Coach, Manchester Storm)

MK pushed Fife close 24 hours ago, and now in Manchester go in search of their first away win since 3 January. If they’re to do that then they’ll need to be better defensively than their previous visits to the Storm Shelter however, conceding four on each occasion so far this season.

We’ve had a lot of adversity this season, but the guys keep battling. They’re doing it for the guys in the room, and of course the fans.” – Tim Wallace (Player-Coach, MK Lightning)

At home On road
Storm Lightning
Av. Goals For 3.59 2.30
Av. Goals Against 3.30 4.52
Win % 62.96% 14.81%

 

1800 Cardiff Devils vs. Glasgow Clan (Tickets | Webcast)

This is the first of two meetings between the Devils and Clan, who will do so again on Wednesday night live on FreeSports.

The outcome of the pair could be vital in the title race, with Cardiff having slipped back behind Belfast light night, albeit on level points. This is the Devils’ game in hand, so they can’t afford to throw points away.

It’s a quick turnaround, and another tough test against Glasgow. It’s going to be a huge challenge for us, but every night is hard which makes it exciting.” – Andrew Lord (Head Coach, Cardiff Devils)

Glasgow already had a small say in the title race by beaten Belfast, and they’ll now see if they can cause a further twist by winning in Wales. More importantly for the Clan will be wanting to respond after Friday night’s 5-1 home drubbing by Dundee, and getting themselves back to third in the table overall.

Maybe Friday night was a lessons for us, it wasn’t good but I’m sure we’ll bounce back. We’ll certainly have to play better against Cardiff, and I’m sure we will be against a side pushing for the league title.” – Pete Russell (Head Coach, Glasgow Clan)

At home On road
Devils Clan
Av. Goals For 4.41 3.04
Av. Goals Against 2.63 3.32
Win % 81.48% 46.43%

 

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