PETE Russell has singled out hat-trick hero Matt Beca for plaudits after the Canadian forward chipped in with an excellent treble in Glasgow Clan’s 8-3 win over Milton Keynes Lightning at the weekend.

The Clan were desperate to get back to winning ways after two successive defeats in their last two matches, falling short against both Coventry Blaze and Cardiff Devils.

However, Beca set the tone early in the match at Braehead, opening the scoring inside three minutes as Clan got off to a flier.

The in-form 32-year-old went on to hit MK for three to bring his tally for the season up to an impressive 19 goals in 35 matches with coach Russell desperate for his goalscoring exploits to continue.

“Matt is a really good guy,” Russell said. “I’ve got to know him this year and he’s a good guy. He’s honest and he’s enjoying his hockey. He’s a stud, there’s no doubt about it. He can take hold of games and make a big difference.

“He got some really good passes from his teammates too. He says he’s a passer but he is definitely a goalscorer now. Long may it continue.”

With his side in search of the win to strengthen their fifth place in the Elite League table, Beca admits the points were the most important thing on Sunday.

He said: “I don’t get many hat-tricks but it always feels good to help the team win and being able to put away those chances is always a confidence boost.”

Elsewhere, Clan forward Matt Haywood enjoyed the ‘best of weekend of his life’ according to Russell after grabbing four goals over the two matches.

The Gazette:

Pete Russell was full of praise for his stars 

Haywood hit a double in Saturday's 4-2 loss against the Devils and was on target once again the following evening, firing another brace as Clan eased past Lightning.

And Russell was over the moon for this star.

He said: “Haywood got another couple of goals as well. He’s had the weekend of his life. He’s doing great at the moment.

“I think the whole team are doing well and I think our discipline was pretty good as well.”

Haywood’s double double brings his total for the season up to seven goals now and the 28-year-old admits he’s even surprised himself with his goalscoring form.

He said: “I’ve never been this prolific. I’ve been a bit lucky with a few tap-ins but I’m happy and I’m happy we got the two points.”