PATRICK KILLEEN admits the experience of playing against Glasgow Clan in last season’s EIHL was a huge factor in him signing for the team this summer.

Killeen spent last season at Milton Keynes Lightening and he admits he always relished his trips up north to play again the Clan.

That experience of facing the Clan, as well as hearing rave reviews from Clan players, Scott Tanski and Matt Stanisz who Killeen was already friends with, convinced the Canadian to make the move to Glasgow.

Killeen signed for the Clan in April and now, twelve games into the current league season, the netminder is convinced he made the correct choice.

The Clan have been in electric form of late, and are sitting in third place in the EIHL, just a point off top spot. The team went on a record-equalling run of eight straight wins earlier in the season and Killeen admits this current squad is fantastic to be a part of.

“It’s a great team to be a part of - we have a really positive mood in the squad right now, there isn’t any groups within the bigger group and every guy in there knows we’re trying to achieve,” he said.

“We have a real winning culture, so regardless if we’re winning a game or losing a game, we have the same mentality and we know that going into the third period, whether we’re up by two goals or down by two, we still have a chance to get the win.

“We’ve done that already this season, fought back from behind to get the win. I think that’s really important, especially as the season goes on.

“We faced a lot of adversity early on in the season and I think that forced us to come together and learn a lot about each other and what it takes to be successful.

“Things are going great but it’s still early days so we just need to make sure we keep going in the right direction.”

The mood in the camp has been particularly positive this week as, last Saturday, the Clan notched up their first victory of the season over Dundee Stars. Having been defeated by Dundee three times already this season, and with a Challenge Cup match against them also approaching, Killeen admits it was nice to stop the run of losses.

“Dundee have picked us for Challenge Cup so I think it was important for us to show that we could beat them,” the 29-year-old said.

“They’d definitely had our number until then – they’re really fast, they protect their goalie well and they have a good goalie so they’re a tough team to play against.

“But we’ve adapted and learnt from the other games we’ve played against them this season and so it was good to win that one.”

Killeen has spent the majority of his career plying his trade in America and Canada before spending a couple of seasons in Italy. Last year was the Ontario man’s first experience of the EIHL and he has been hugely impressed with the standard.

“I love the league here. I think the standard is high,” he said.

“The reputation of the league is a little outdated, I think - it’s better than some people give it credit for. It’s quite a unique style – it walks a line between North American style hockey and European style hockey.

“There’s a lot of speed and skill like you find in other leagues but there’s also more physicality and a lot more structure than you find in the American league. I think it’s a fantastic calibre of hockey.”

This weekend, Killeen and his Clan teammates have a double-header, facing Fife Flyers at home on Saturday before travelling down south to play Coventry Blaze on Sunday.

There is always an extra edge when the Scottish teams face each other, with all three doing what they can to get bragging rights, and so Killeen and the rest of the squad are keen to rack up another win when Fife come to Braehead Arena.

“We have a good rivalry with both the Scottish teams – it’s fun,” he said.

“It’s very competitive and it’s a big deal for the fans. I think it’s important to have rivalries like that, that’s what makes European hockey so exciting, the derby-style games that are here.

“Fife are a good team and I think it’ll definitely be an entertaining game to watch and to be a part of so I’m looking forward to it.”