BRAEHEAD CLAN forward Bari Mckenzie believes the pain of last year’s overtime play-off defeat to Fife Flyers will help drive his team towards a place in the Elite League final four.

Clan take on Dundee Stars in a quarter-final double-header this weekend, travelling to the city of discovery today before returning to a sold-out Braehead Arena for the second leg on Sunday.

Last year Mckenzie was part of the side that saw their hopes of securing a place in the showcase end of season finals dashed by a late overtime goal and while the 30-year-old admits the experience was chastening, he believes it can provide impetus for a better result this time around.

“I think it will drive us on,” he told Sport Times. “Last year it was really, really hard for the guys. It was tough to take so that will drive us because we don’t want that feeling again this year.

“You can use is as a positive thing. You can’t dwell on the past. It sucked last year, it was horrible, but we want to take that as a positive thing to make sure we qualify for the final four weekend.”

Mckenzie arrived at Clan at the end of the 2014/15 season after two years with Dundee, but he insists that any fond memories of his time in a Stars jersey will be put aside when he faces off against his former teammates.

“Realistically you’d like to see more Scottish teams at the weekend, but at the end of the day that personal relationship I have with the Stars goes out the window,” he explained.

“My objective is to do anything for the Clan to get to the final four weekend.”

Ryan Finnerty’s future as head coach at Braehead remains uncertain with a new contract yet to be agreed, but the Canadian underlined that his attention is focused on the present rather than the future with season-defining games approaching.

He said: “That’s the business side of the game, it has nothing to do with hockey here. You put that out of your mind.

“As far as I’m concerned we’re here to do a job as a group and the politics of one-year or two-year deals for next year will take care of itself in the right time.”

Braehead finished two places above Dundee in the final Elite League standings, but the coach is expecting a challenging clash against Stars after seeing his side beaten 4-1 at the beginning of March at the Dundee Ice Arena.

“It’s going to be two good battles,” said Finnerty. “Dundee are a good team, they’ve been playing play-off hockey for a while so we’re not expecting to see anything we haven’t yet.

“We’ve played them 10 times now so we’re pretty familiar with one another but it’s going to be a high scoring affair. The two teams have a lot in offence and we’re expecting a tough test from Mark Lefebvre’s men.”

Meanwhile, UK-based ice hockey fans were given a boost on Friday when it was announced that the Elite League play-off final weekend in Nottingham will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.