NOLAN LaPORTE may have grown up in the home of ice hockey but he admits he has never seen crowds quite as passionate as those he plays in front of in Glasgow.

The 27-year-old from Chicago signed for Glasgow Clan in the summer and has had something of dream start to his Clan career, which perhaps explains why the Clan fans are in such good voice these days.

Glasgow Clan currently sit atop the EIHL having won their last eight matches but LaPorte admits this run is no better than he and his teammates expected at the start of the season.

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“We started off a little slow but lately, it’s been lights out. It’s a fun team to be playing for, that’s for sure,” he said ahead of the Clan’s latest fixture, against Coventry at Braehead on Sunday.

"When I first got here, the talk was that on paper, we had one of the best teams this season so we had high expectations. And over the past four or five week, that point has been proved and it looks like we’re going to be on of the top teams in the league.

And personally, things are going great. With my linemates, Rasmus Bjerrum and Chad Rowe, we’ve got some good chemistry so that’s been great.”

And with the team in such good form, it is no surprise that the Clan fans are making themselves heard.

“The profile of the sport here is definitely different but in America, the teams don’t always get that many fans even though they have super-nice venues,” the forward said.

“Whereas here, it doesn’t matter where you go, there’s always big crowds and they love their team so much. So it’s really cool to hear the chants and the airhorns and everything – we don’t usually hear that back home. The crowds might be smaller but the people who come are a lot more into it – that especially applies to the Clan, the fans are so passionate. That’s one of the best things for me about playing here.”

LaPorte has plied his trade for a number of teams in his home country, most recently the Atlanta Gladiators in the ECHL, with his signing for Glasgow Clan in July his first time playing for a side overseas. Glasgow has been, he admits, quite a change but he is loving his new city.

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“This is definitely a change from what I’m used to but it’s been great – the people are so nice and I’ve been into the city a few times and it’s great.

"The differences from back home are huge – driving on the other side of the road took a good bit of getting used to, the accents are very different – I have to ask people to repeat themselves a few times. And the weather is different. I came from Florida so it’s definitely a bit more rainy here. But it’s great, I’m really enjoying it.

"The biggest difference in the hockey is the size of the ice – it’s a lot bigger here and the style of play is different, it’s a more controlled game here. In terms of the players, some of the guys over here have some incredible resumes so I wouldn’t say that’s much different from where I came from. But some of these guys are a little older so they’re smart, they know how to play the game.”

LaPorte is just one of a plethora of Clan players who have been in excellent form and while there is a long way to go in this season’s EIHL, the American is not the slightest bit daunted about his team being the side to beat this year.

“The plan is definitely to stay at the top of the league – we wouldn’t hope for anything less than that,” he said.

“It’s looking pretty good right now – I don’t see a single team that we can’t handle or that can consistently outplay us. I was reading some of the tweets about us after our wins against Belfast last weekend and they were saying how much heart we have and that’s spot on.”