PAISLEY PIRATES   3          DUNDEE COMETS   3

The points, and honours, were shared in this tightest of tight matches as the Comets recovered from an early 3-1 deficit to snatch a point with a late goal coming less than five minutes before the end of the game.

paisley pirates

Pirates had a powerplay opportunity with less than a minute on the clock and Frazer Campbell was on hand to force the puck home and give his side an early lead. The visitors were looking powerful on the break and they were level before the halfway point as Adam Walker scored to tie the scores. However, parity didn’t last long as less than a minute later Orr fired home to restore the home side’s advantage, and three minutes later a second from Campbell, prodding the puck over the line as it ran loose, gave Pirates a handy 3-1 lead at the first break.

Into the middle session, and with Pirates taking a succession of penalties they were obliged to defend for much of the period, conceding just before the halfway point in the play as Gold reduced his side’s deficit to one, and with the home side appearing to sag a little Comets had several chances to tie the scores. While Pirates had several one on one opportunities, they were unable to take advantage of any of them and so by the end of 40 minutes the match had tightened up to 3-2.

In the final session the effects of Pirates’ heroics in Aberdeen the previous evening became only too obvious as players began to visibly tire, and while the home side were hanging grimly onto their lead, while still finding the energy to break to the other end, the visitors were gaining momentum and enjoyed periods of sustained pressure, Meechan coming up with several outstanding saves to keep his side in front. However, he could do nothing with under 5 minutes remaining as Dolan waltzed through the home defense to pick his spot and net with ease, giving his side a point which no one would have begrudged to them.

Over the piece, a draw was probably a fair result, but Pirates have now dropped four points in their last four SNL games and the breathing space which they had over their main rivals in the last few weeks has now disappeared. They will welcome the chance of reaching the Scottish Cup semi-final next weekend when they host Aberdeen in the second leg, nursing a 3-2 recorded on Saturday, but they will be facing a side who no doubt will come south feeling they still have a chance of progressing.

ABERDEEN LYNX   2            PAISLEY PIRATES   3 

In a bad tempered affair at Aberdeen, with over 150 minutes in penalties given out, Pirates squeezed home by the odd goal in five to take a one goal advantage with them to the second leg of this Scottish Cup Quarter Final at Braehead Arena next Sunday.

The visitors were out of the blocks like lightning and were ahead on the powerplay within three minutes as Campbell put his side in front. It got even better for Pirates as before five minutes had gone they’d doubled their advantage as Orr got his first of the night, with the home penalty box again occupied. Aberdeen did get back into the game as the clock ticked down, Calum McEachran halving the deficit with less than two minutes of the period remaining to put the hosts back in the tie.

In a tight second period, Aberdeen continued to take penalties, but Pirates were unable to take advantage of their numerical supremacy, while heavily outshooting the home side, and thus as the players headed for the dressing room at the end of the middle session the game remained finely balanced at 2-1.

Pirates found themselves in penalty trouble at the beginning of the final session, and this was to prove costly as Laydon tied the scores with just over four minutes played. The joy of the home fans was muted, however, as within two minutes Orr had restored the visitors’ lead with the game-winning goal. In a tense final session littered with penalties, matters boiled over with less than two minutes remaining, Aberdeen’s Calum McEachran and Pirates’ Chris Turley both being ejected for incurring multiple penalties, and when play resumed Pirates safely saw out the remaining period, to take a precious one goal lead back with them in advance of the deciding leg next Sunday.