NEWCASTLE Vipers’ Elite League play-off hopes suffered a setback with two weekend defeats to Braehead Clan.
Danny Stewart’s men went down 5-2 away to the Scottish club on Saturday, when Mike Prpich and Jaroslaw Rzeszutko notched.
And Braehead completed a quickfire double with a narrow 5-4 success in last night’s rematch at Whitley Bay.
Vipers twice fell behind, but levelled through Callum Davies, scoring his first professional goal, and Rzeszutko, before edging in front with a Toms Hartmanis strike.
Braehead rallied to quickly equalise, before going back in front, but Rzeszutko squared it up again before the end of the second period.
Braehead – who outshot the hosts 36-21 – then snatched victory with Kyle Bruce’s second goal of the night and Vipers failed to make the most of a late powerplay, even when withdrawing netminder Charlie Effinger for an extra skater.
Vipers, three points behind Dundee with two games in hand, are in the chase for the eighth play-off slot and their next visit is to Sheffield on Wednesday.