Pirates duly progressed to the Scottish Cup Final after a mammoth 15-1 rout of the Storm, recording an aggregate 26-3 aggregate win.
They were quickly into their stride and were ahead after five minutes as skipper Mark Hassan slotted home on the powerplay, and within two minutes the lead was doubled as Tom Johnston got on the scoresheet with a shot which beat netminder Gray in the visiting goal. By the halfway point it was 3-0 as Chris Wilson scored his first of the night, again on the powerplay, and while former Pirate Allan Maitland pulled one back for the visitors in the 13th minute, the flow of play towards the Storm continued and after another former Pirate, Myles Watson, had been thrown out for Butt Ending, Wilson scored his second, and his team’s fourth, with yet another powerplay goal to send his team in with a very comfortable 4-1 advantage, and with the writing very much on the wall for the visitors.
In the middle session, Pirates went into overdrive and with less than five minutes played in it Chris Turley scored the goal of the game, waltzing through the entire Storm side to score a beauty and take the lead to four on the night, and thirteen in the tie. Marc Crute was in on the act four minutes later to take the score to 6-1. Chris Wilson duly collected his hat trick goal just after the halfway point in the game, with Stuart Miller taking it to eight after 32 minutes. A nasty looking injury to Storm’s Mort saw the game halted after 35 minutes as the visitor appeared to take a direct hit to the head from the puck, and after extended treatment on the ice he was stretchered off and taken to hospital as a precautionary measure. The extended break in play did not, however, affect Pirates’ dominance as they beat Blackwell, who had replaced Gray in the visiting goal by this time, three times in the remaining minutes through a Chris Wilson double, taking his personal tally to five, and a rare Warren Crawford effort, making the score 11-1 after 40 minutes.
Pirates appeared to drop a gear in the third session and with a number of players benefiting from extended ice time, it wasn’t until the 48th minute that Crawford netted his second, but they finished with a flourish with three final goals in the last ten minutes, Bain making it unlucky 13 for Kilmarnock, Crute getting his second a few minutes later, and Campbell rounded off the evening with the final goal in the last two minutes.
The league champions will now have a break of a few weeks until the dates of their playoff games with as yet unnamed opponents are confirmed, and on this form will be looking to the prospect of appearances in the Scottish Cup Final on 22 April against the winners of the Dundee derby, with Tigers and Comets clashing in the other semi final, and the prospect of a possible appearance in the playoff finals weekend to look forward to as top seeds in the preliminary stages.
Following their win, Pirates were presented with the SNL Champions trophy and their individual medals by Deputy Lord Provost of Renfrewshire Council, John Caldwell.
Scorers: Wilson (5+0), Crute (2+1), Crawford (2+0), Hassan, Miller & Johnston (all 1+2), Campbell & Turley (both 1+1), Bain (1+0), Orr (0+4), Blair, Riddell & Jordan (both 0+2), McLaughlin, Thorp & Spiers (all 0+1)
Man of the Match: Chris Wilson