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Top four is now enough for Braehead Clan

Ryan Finnerty, the Braehead Clan head coach, has scaled down his targets after his side's recent slump in form.

The Canadian had set his sights of claiming second place in the 10-strong Elite League but that target has since been reappraised to become a top-four finish this season.

The visitors to Braehead tonight are Cardiff Devils, who are vying with Fife Flyers for the final play-off place, with Clan travelling to face new champions Belfast Giants tomorrow. "It's going to be a tough weekend for us but we want to come away with four points," said Finnerty, whose side sit in fifth, a point behind Dundee CCS Stars. "We've progressed on and off the ice this season and a top-four finish is still possible, which would also give us momentum heading into the play-offs."

Fife Flyers' American defenceman Matt Nickerson has had his match penalty from his side's game at Hull Stingrays in midweek downgraded to a 5+game misconduct for roughing but he has been told that his behaviour was unacceptable by Edinburgh- based Moray Hanson, the Elite League's head of discipline.

Elsewhere, Dundee Stars, the new Gardiner Conference champions, face Hull Stingrays. "They don't score a lot of goals but they find ways to win games," said Slyvain Cloutier, the Hull player-coach. "They shut you down, they block shots, they do the little things right. They pay the price and as a coach that is what you want from your team."

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