GLASGOW Clan head coach Pete Russell insists his side will go into their Challenge Cup knock-out stage clash against second seeds Cardiff Devils next week full of confidence.

Russell, whose side were reliant on the outcome of matches elsewhere to secure their place, were seeded eighth and knew they faced the prospect of a tough clash with one of the top seeds.

And after number one side Belfast Giants opted to take on seventh seeds Dundee Stars, the Devils chose a double-header with the Clan.

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Clan and Devils have met twice this season already with the Welsh side coming out on top on both occasions, cruising to a convincing 8-1 win in Cardiff Bay in September before narrowly edging past Russell’s men 1-0 at Braehead last month.

But while the Devils have shown good form recently as they enjoyed two wins and four points at the weekend and rightly earned their spot as second seeds, Russell is looking forward to the challenge and firmly believes Clan’s low seeding is not indicative of just how good they can be on the day.

“First of all we are really happy to be in the knock-out stage,” Russell said. “We knew it would be a tough game against any team from the top four seeds, but it’s over two legs and we’re looking forward to it.

“We have definitely improved since the result in Wales earlier in this season. Our offence hasn’t clicked yet, but we have improved. You have got to be at it and ready to go against any team in this league. We’ve got to be strong without the puck and take our chances - it’s over two games so anything can happen. It’s good to be in the next round for the club. It gives the fans another couple of exciting games.”

Meanwhile, Glasgow Clan forward Mac Howlett has been selected to represent Great Britain as part of the U20s squad at January’s IIHF World Championship Division II Group A in Tallinn, Estonia.

The 18-year-old, who joined the Clan in June having spent the last two seasons playing Junior hockey in Finland with SaiPa as part of both their U18 and U20 teams, currently plays under Pete Russell at the Clan who is also head coach of the team GB senior hockey team.

Slava Koulikov’s U20 side will face hosts Estonia, along with Korea, Lithuania, Romania and Spain in group A from January 13 to January 19 2019 at the Tondiraba Ice Hall in the Estonian capital.

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Britain start the six-team tournament against Lithuania on January 13 and then play Korea the following day before taking on Estonia on the 16th, Romania on the 17th and Spain on the 19th. 

The under 20’s squad have also announced that former Clan assistant coach Richard Hartmann has joined their coaching team ahead of the World Championships.