After a three week layoff, Paisley Pirates are back with a bang this weekend with two matches against difficult looking opposition, taking on Aberdeen Lynx on Saturday night at Braehead (face off at the earlier time of 5pm), before travelling through to Edinburgh the following evening to go head to head to head with the Capitals.
“It’s going to be a very difficult weekend for us,” said coach Ian Turley, as he looked ahead to the two matches. “It’s very unusual for us to be playing at home on a Saturday, and it’s an earlier than usual face off time into the bargain, and we’ll be going into the game knowing we’re up against a side unbeaten in the league this season. The Lynx are the big success story of the SNL in recent times, having gone from being whipping boys a few years ago to a team which won the playoffs last season and are currently without a loss to their name in the league this year.”
“I was delighted with our last display when, with hardly a fit player in the ranks, we beat Kirkcaldy and, believe me, it’ll take that kind of effort and commitment against Aberdeen this Saturday. We drew 3-3 with them at their place at the beginning of November and it was a real end to end game, and I can’t see the return being any less of a thriller. We’re hoping to be nearer full strength than we were against the Kestrels in terms of numbers and fitness levels, and it will take the same sort of 60 minutes of full on playing if we want to have any chance of coming away with something.”
He continued, “Our fans were very loud during the last match and we’re asking for the same volume levels on Saturday. With the match being on a Saturday, we suspect there may be some Aberdeen fans who’ll use the opportunity to come through and see the Braehead Arena, so there’s every chance our supporters will have some opposition fans to out shout, something which we don’t always get with our regular game slot being on a Sunday, and maybe, with it being a top of the table clash, we might even get a few fans along from other teams looking for their ice hockey “fix.” In either event, I think it’s going to be an unmissable match, one which deserves a big crowd.”
On the Sunday, Pirates make the short hop along the M8 to take on the Edinburgh Capitals, and coach Turley is again taking nothing for granted. “Edinburgh haven’t had as successful a season as they might have anticipated, considering the strength of their squad, but I think there have been a number of games where players have been taken away to bench for their Elite League squad, and that’s maybe affected some of their results. What I’m absolutely certain about is that they’ll all be available and raring to go against us, just like they’ve been every other time we’ve played them, and with Murrayfield not being a particularly happy hunting ground for us in recent years, it’s traditionally been a hard place for us to go to, so once again we’ll have to go there with our A game if we want to keep gathering points.”
Face off in Edinburgh is at 6.00pm.