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Paisley pirates

Pirates duly qualified for the SNL Playoff Finals in Kirkcaldy following a goal fest at the Braehead Arena, which saw them despatch an Aberdeen side which, although never giving up, couldn’t quite match the firepower of the home side.


The Paisley side opened brightly and were ahead inside four minutes as Scott Cowan took a pass from Riddell to fire home in style and put his side in front, giving them a lead which they never looked like losing. With Malcolm sitting in the penalty box for Hooking, Pirates doubled their lead on the powerplay at the 12 minute mark, Cowan notching his second from assists by Orr and Campbell, and although chances came at both ends, the scoreboard remained unchanged at the first interval, with Pirates looking comfortable with a 3 goal aggregate lead, and having a “goal” washed out after 14 minutes for High Sticks..


Pirates were again first on the board in the middle session, as McCamley got on the act in the 25th minute, but the score was immediately nullified as Leyden raced to the other end to score the visitors’ opener only 8 seconds later, and much to the delight of the travelling Lynx support. A two goals in two minutes’ burst from Pirates took the game away from Aberdeen as first Blair, then Riddell, took the score to 5-1, and with Orr emphasising the home side’s superiority with a 6th in 36 minutes, it was all over, although Leyden again retaliated with a second unassisted goal half a minute later, followed by McIntosh in the last seconds of the period to give the scoreline a slightly better hue for the visitors at 6-3 at the second interval.


Play was scrappy in the early part of the third period but at the halfway point, and for a few brief seconds, Lynx looked to get back in the game as Malcolm netted to bring the score to 6-4., but that’s where it ended as first Orr, then Hassan, scored within 40 seconds of each other to take the game away and give their side a 5 goal aggregate with little time left. Cowan duly completed his hat trick with less than 20 seconds remaining, and a 5th goal for the visitors, courtesy Turnbull, merely provided some window dressing for an Aberdeen side which never gave up, but which could not compete with a home side which retained its goal scoring touch of recent weeks.


Pirates now go through to the SNL Playoff Finals weekend on 11/12 April in Kirkcaldy, with Edinburgh Capitals, Dundee Comets, and the hosts, Kirkcaldy Kestrels, for company.

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John Churchill hanging up his skates


Paisley Pirates’ fans attending Sunday’s playoff quarter final against Aberdeen Lynx at Braehead Arena will say goodbye to one of their favourite sons, following the news that captain John Churchill is hanging up his skates at the end of the season.

The popular hitman, a stalwart with the club for a number of seasons in a career spanning four decades, will play his last home game for the club as they battle for a place in the end of season playoff weekend in Kirkcaldy.



“Yes, we were all a little sad when John told us this was definitely his final season in competitive ice hockey,” said coach Ian Turley. “He’s been playing with us for a long time now, so long in fact that he became regarded as an automatic selection. Sure, he’s got older, like the rest of us, but his level of fitness has never been in question, in fact, he can still put a lot of guys to shame when it comes to lasting 60 minutes”

“John’s certainly earned his place in the club’s history, as not only did he score the first goal and set us on his way when we won the Scottish Cup 10 years ago, but he also led the club to their first championship title in 20 years just two seasons ago. His attitude has always been first class, he’s a real leader in the dressing room, and folk look up to him.

“He’s going to be a real loss to the club, as not only does has he brought his playing ability to the team, all his other attributes such as his experience have contributed greatly to the success of the club. He might have been playing the game longer than some of our guys have actually been around, but he’s never, ever, lost his enthusiasm for the sport, or playing for the Pirates, and that kind of love of the game is going to be difficult to replace.”

“Sunday’s game is an important one in its own right, but it takes on extra significance because it’ll be John’s last match for the club on home ice. We’ll certainly be doing our utmost to make sure he has two more games for us after that in the playoffs, although Aberdeen Lynx will have something to say about that, and I’m hoping that fans turn out in force, and we do the business on the ice, to give him a send off appropriate to the tremendous service he’s given to the sport he loves, and to the Paisley Pirates in particular.”

Parliamentary Motion by George Adam MSP

I submitted this motion to the Scottish Parliament on Friday.

Motion S4M-12843: George Adam, Paisley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/03/2015
Last Face-off for Paisley Pirates’ Captain, John Churchill
That the Parliament celebrates the career of John Churchill, captain of the Paisley Pirates ice hockey team, who has announced that he will hang up his skates at the end of the season; notes that homes fans will watch Churchill take to home ice for the final time in the playoff quarter final against Aberdeen Lynx on 29 March 2015; congratulates John on his career, spanning four decades, scoring the first goal in the Paisley Pirates’ Scottish Cup win 10 years ago and captaining the side to its first Scottish title in 2013 when the team finished the season as Scottish National League champions; notes that, after John’s retirement, Scottish ice hockey will be without a number 14 by the name of Churchill for the first time in 50 years due to both John and his dad Alex both wearing the number 14 shirt throughout their careers with Alex playing for, among other teams, Paisley Mohawks during his time on the ice; thanks John for his service to Scottish ice hockey and to the Paisley Pirates during the latter part his career, previously playing for Glasgow Saints, Nottingham Panthers, Telford Tigers and the Dumfries Vikings; wishes John well in his future endeavours, and considers that he will go down as one of the Paisley Pirates greatest players.

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paisley pirates

In a night of pulsating, end to end ice hockey, Pirates claimed a draw against title challengers Edinburgh, and in doing so became the first visiting side to take a point away from the Murrayfield rink this season.

Both teams set out to attack from the start, and the visitors were first to get on the scoreboard in the 10th minute as Scott Cowan fired home unassisted. It got even better for Pirates after 18 minutes, as this time defender Chris Turley was up with the forwards to slip home a pass from Johnston to send his side in at the break with a 2-0 advantage.

paisley pirates

(Picture courtesy of Al Goold Photo )

The expected Edinburgh fightback was delayed, however, as with less than two minutes on the clock in the middle session a Martyn Guy shot defeated Mallinson in the home goal to put the visitors three ahead. This did spark off a fightback by the home side and within two minutes it was 3-2 as first Patterson, and then Hughes, put the home side right back in the game. The goals continued to flow and at the halfway point Liam Riddell rounded off a play with McCamley and Guy to put Pirates two ahead at 4-2. The title chasing Caps retaliated in fine style, however, and a three minute treble by the Hay brothers gave them a narrow 5-4 advantage at the second break.

It got darker for Pirates within seconds of the restart as Gautschi netted to give his side a two goal advantage, but the Paisley side weren’t finished yet, as with six minutes gone David Orr scored an unassisted marker to make it a one goal game. Edinburgh came back again, but after Langford had pulled off a great save to keep the deficit at one goal, the visitors immediately broke to the other end, and Cowan converted a Campbell pass to tie the scores two minutes later. The frenetic level of activity at both ends continued right to the end, however, with neither team able to get the game winning goal, in a match which was a tremendous advert for SNL hockey.

Third placed Pirates will now face Aberdeen Lynx in the Playoff quarter finals on a home and away basis, the first leg taking place on Saturday 21 March in the North East, with the return leg at the Braehead Arena on Sunday 29 March, in what will be an interesting tie, the Lynx being one of only two teams to have beaten Pirates in league action this season.

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pirates goal

Shorthanded Pirates pulled off a stunning 5-3 win against North Ayrshire Wild, the visitors’ bench being ravaged by injury to the extent that they could only ice 13 skaters, including several walking wounded, for this local derby.

The visitors were on the board in the 6th minute as Orr top shelved a shot beyond Galloway to put Pirates one up, but after they has played off a penalty called on Cowan for Hooking, the scores were tied after 12 minutes as Bain equalised in a first period where Pirates possibly had the better of the exchanges against a side desperate for the two points to clinch a place in the playoffs.



pirates goal

(Picture courtesy of Al Goold Photo see the rest of the sequence here https://www.facebook.com/paisley.pirates)

Wild had the better of the early exchanges in the middle session, although Riddell missed a good opportunity for the Renfrewshire side after 25 minutes, and with the teams swopping penalties around the halfway point Pirates had Langford to thank for an outstanding save a minute later, before they took the lead after 36 minutes as McCamley smashed a low shot home to give his side the advantage again. Almost immediately, they were a player short, with Riddell going for Hooking, but within seconds Blair had broken away and deftly rounded Galloway to put his team two clear. The home side were still on the powerplay, however, and pulled one back in highly controversial circumstances as Langford appeared to have pulled off a tremendous save form Abercromby, but the goal judge flashed his light and a goal was awarded after considerable debate, with the goalie clearly gesticulating to the official that the puck had not crossed the line. Pirates were still recovering from that blow and 20 seconds later it was 3-3 as Maitland tied the scores. The visitors dredged on their reserves in what had been a tiring end to the session and Orr blasted home with only 6 seconds remaining to send his team in with a narrow 4-3 advantage.


Player/coach Ian Turley, who had reported ill for this match, but had played as an emergency defender because of player shortages, was unable to continue, leaving Pirates with only 3 recognised defenders for the final session, and they had to withstand some pressure from the hosts who remained desperate to keep their season going with a win. Gibson missed a great chance to equalise when going one on one with Langford only to miss the target, before Graham McCamley gave the visitors vital breathing space with a fifth goal in the 52nd minute. Pirates appeared to be under the cosh in the 53rd minute as Cowan, and then Chris Turley, were penalised within 4 seconds of each other, giving Wild a two man advantage for almost 2 frenetic minutes, but by a combination of last ditch defending, inspired netminding by Langford, and a fair slice of luck, their goal remained intact, and a very tired looking Pirates played out the remaining minutes to record a quire remarkable win.

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Paisley Pirates Player plays on with Dislocated Shoulder

Pirates 14-15 headshots__36

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Ice hockey players have the reputation of being tough guys, and Paisley Pirates’ defender Chris Turley certainly lived up to that image last weekend.

In the course of his team’s match against Moray Typhoons in the Scottish National League on Sunday, Chris took a challenge from an opponent, and immediately knew what had happened. “I’ve been playing ice hockey for a long time now, ever since I was a kid, picking up a few injuries along the way, and had dislocated my shoulder before. I realised it had come out again, and needed to get it sorted right away.”

Pirates 14-15 headshots__36


(Picture courtesy of Al Goold Photo)

His brother, and team coach, Ian Turley, told him he’d need to sit out the rest of the game because of the injury but tough guy Chris decided that dislocation or no dislocation, he was seeing out the rest of the game.

Drawing on the example set by Mel Gibson in the “Lethal Weapon” series of films, he set about remedying the situation by knocking his shoulder back into place without the aid of an anaesthetic and, problem sorted, went back out to help his team to an 11-1 win.

“He’s my brother, so I know better than anyone how daft he can be,” commented coach Ian Turley“, but it just goes to show how much our guys will go through to play for the Pirates, and he does it for the love of the game.

He’s been our rock a number of times with last minute challenges and important goals, although I think he took the comparison a bit far this time! I don’t know how many players could do what he did, but he’s a very important player for us, and Sunday just showed the level of commitment which he, and indeed the rest of the squad, give to this club every time they go out to represent the Paisley Pirates. It’s that kind of attitude which shows just how special this club is, and what it means to team members to play for it.”

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Paisley pirates

Pirates cantered to an easy win by crushing Moray Typhoons 11-1 in their final home match of the regular season, notching their seventh consecutive league win in the process.

The home side were on the board in only 46 seconds as Blair top shelved a shot past MacColla in the visitors’ goal, and the goalie was picking the puck out the net again less than a minute later as Riddell finished off a move with Cowan and Guy to double the advantage with under two minutes on the clock. On the five minute mark it was three as Stuart Miller was on hand to net the first of a treble, and perhaps the only real surprise of the period was that there were only nine seconds left in the period before McCamley added to the tally with a shorthanded effort, his team heading for the dressing room already four goals to the good.


The middle session saw Pirates again beat a regular path towards the Moray goal, with Miller notching his second, and the hosts’ fifth, in the 28th minute on the powerplay, before Campbell scored a beauty six minutes later, taking a through pass from Churchill to round MacColla and tap into the empty net for number six. That ended the scoring for the period, with the home side disappearing into the distance at 6-0.

Typhoons briefly saw a shaft of light in the 43rd minute as Durkacz skated through the Pirates defence before drawing Langford to net his side’s only goal of the night, but normal service was resumed at the halfway point as Miller completed his hat trick by tipping in a Chris Turley thunderbolt to make it seven. Again Pirates appeared to take their foot off the gas briefly, but they finished with a flourish, netting no fewer than four times as Riddell, Churchill, Campbell and Cowan all found the target to complete their biggest win of the season.

Pirates finish their regular season with an away tie at North Ayr this coming Saturday, before travelling to Edinburgh for their final league match of the season on 8 March, before entering the playoff stage of the season, and will be hoping that several key players missing in the win against Moray will be available by that time.

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Paisley Pirates return to Scottish National Ice Hockey League action this Sunday

Paisley pirates

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]PAISLEY PIRATES-UPDATE

Paisley Pirates return to Scottish National Ice Hockey League action this Sunday at Braehead Arena (face off 6.00pm) after an absence of 5 weeks, when they will lock horns with local rivals Kilmarnock Storm.

“Yes, it seems like ages since we were on home ice, when we beat North Ayrshire Wild 9-2 just before Christmas, so it’s nice to be able to look forward to getting back onto it in front of our own supporters, and the fact that it’s going to be a local derby against the Storm just makes it a lot tastier. They would love to put one over on us, just as much as we want the two points which will keep us bang on track for a playoff place now that we’re into the business end of the season.”


“We’ve only three home league games left before the start of the playoffs, and a few very tricky road trips, so it’s absolutely imperative that we continue the good form we’ve been showing since the beginning of December and keep the momentum going. It’s not always the team which finished top of the SNL which wins the playoffs, as we found out to our cost 2 years ago when we won the league, but lost out in the final to Dundee Tigers, who had only finished 5th or 6th over the season, but who had gone on a great run towards the end of the season and kept that momentum going all the way through the final stages. That’s a model we’d dearly love to draw upon this year. We haven’t quite given up on finishing top of the pile yet, although it will take a few results to go in our favour for that to happen, so keeping good habits going is very important right now, as it establishes confidence, and that’s everything. For a team with as much firepower as we’re showing just now, with 31 goals in our last 4 games, that can make the difference between having a good season, and having a memorable one!”

“I never tire of reminding folk that for a maximum of £7, the price of adult admission with reduced tariffs for all other spectators, we reckon to offer the best value in entertainment in the area bar none, so we’re hoping folk come out in force to cheer us on this Sunday. It really does make a difference to have a big crowd behind you, and the attendance at the North Ayrshire game was easily our best of the season, so here’s hoping they’ll turn out to support their very own, and local, ice hockey team!”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Paisley pirates

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Paisley Pirates return to action at the Braehead Arena this Sunday when they take on North Ayrshire Wild in their final SNL match of 2014 (face off 6.00pm).

After several disappointing results in November, Pirates have returned to form in December with two big away wins, beating Kilmarnock Storm 9-3 and then shutting out Moray Typhoons 5-0 on successive weekends.


“Yes, it’s been reassuring to see the boys return to something like their potential in the last couple of games,” explained coach Ian Turley. “We seemed to have lost our cutting edge last month so I changed the lines around in order to get us firing again, and I suppose I can’t be too disappointed with 14 goals in two games. Having said that, I thought we could and should have score more at Elgin, but some victories give you more satisfaction than others, and the 5-0 whitewash certainly falls into that category.”

He went on, “We’ve got another hard nut to crack this weekend when we take on the Wild at Braehead. Last season, they turned us over twice and I seem to remember them advertising themselves as the best team in the West of Scotland. Well, we tend to do our talking on the ice, so we won’t be making any rash predictions or claims. As it’s a local derby, there will be enough spice in the clash, and we’ll be trying hard to ensure that there won’t be any such comments coming out of any rink in these parts!”

“We’re also putting on a bit of a show for our punters on Sunday, hopefully not just during the game, but during the break and after the game. We’re not giving too much away about the interval attraction other than to say there will be a chance to see a little junior ice hockey again, while at the end of the game we have a big presentation. We know already that there’s going to be a bigger crowd than usual, and our crowds have already shown an upward trend this season, so the advice is to come early and avoid disappointment. We’ve got a lot of entertainment to fit into two and a half hours on Sunday, and it’s still only £7 for adults to get in, so Christmas will once again be coming early to supporters of the Paisley Pirates! Be there!”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Paisley pirates

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Pirates headed north on League business to Elgin only three weeks after a highly controversial Scottish Cup tie which had seen the outcome subject to an appeal by the Paisley side.

On this occasion, they wasted no time and were ahead in under three minutes as Stuart Miller opened the scoring after lead up play from Wilson and Orr. The same line contributed to a doubling of this lead with just over six minutes on the clock, Orr this time getting the goal with assists from Wilson and Quinn to give the visitors a handy cushion early on in the game.


As in the last match, Pirates were outplaying the home side but in spite of outshooting the home side by two to one they had to wait until the 14th minute for the 3rd goal to arrive, defender Colin McMIllan scoring his first goal of the season with assistance from Michael Chubb, the latter back after suspension after taking an early bath following his ejection during his last visit to Elgin. The visitors weren’t finished, however, and Miller scored his second, and his team’s fourth, unassisted with just under three minutes of the period remaining to give the scoreline a realistic look at the first interval, the visitors holding a commanding 4-0 advantage.

In the second period, Pirates continued to push forward, but with the home side also trying to come into the game a little more, both netminders were called into action on a number of occasions and were equal to the shots coming their way. Pirates also had the inconvenience of being called on minor penalties on a number of occasions, but these breaks in momentum failed to halt their push for another goal, and with teenage netminder Graeme Meechan equal to the task, at the other end they got a 5th goal seconds before the end of the session as this time Cowan fed McCamley and the forward wasted no time in bulging the net for an insurance marker.

In the final session, Pirates again had to play off a number of minor penalties, but with the outcome of the game already decided, they contented themselves with a five goal win, and, at the same time, give netminder Meechan his first senior shut out.

Coach Ian Turley will be pleased by the fact that his re-vamped forward lines have now scored 14 times in their last two games after a spell when they were misfiring badly and, in fact, they should have had more in this match, recording a total of 69 shots on target. He will be equally happy that his defensive formations also worked well in this game, giving the side confidence in advance of their final game of the year, at home against North Ayrshire Wild, this coming Sunday at the Braehead Arena (face off 6.00pm).


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Paisley pirates

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Pirates slipped to their third consecutive defeat as they went down to the visitors who were more adept at taking the chances which came their way in the course of the evening.


The home side opened brightly but Lynx proved to be dangerous on the break and they were ahead as early as the 6th minute as Johnson opened the scoring for the men from the North. That lead was doubled five minutes later, this time a shot from Laing appearing to take a deflection, which was enough to see the puck nestle behind Meechan in the Pirates’ goal. The home side responded immediately, however, and were back in the game only twelve seconds later as McCamley finished off a move with Orr and Conaboy to pull the scoreline back to 2-1. In spite of mounting a series of attacks on the Lynx goal, the visitors in general, and netminder Kynoch in particular, appeared comfortable in fending them off, and in turn continued to look dangerous when they broke forward, and the period finished without further scoring.

The middle session showed a similar pattern to the first, with Pirates coming forward at every opportunity, but the visitors did in fact pass up two gilt edged one on one chances during the period, neither finishing shot actually finding the target. Worryingly for the home side, Aberdeen did in fact look the likelier side to score, but in spite of a few narrow squeaks the period ended with the score remaining as it was at the beginning of it.

With Pirates needing a quick strike to get back on level terms, a goal did arrive, but at the other end, as a slapshot from McEachran after 44 minutes doubled the visitors’ advantage. Once again the home side pushed forward, but their attacks lacked the vital cutting to defeat Kynoch, and with time running out for Pirates, coach Ian Turley pulled his netminder Meechan when his side were awarded a powerplay, to give his side 6 skaters to 4. However, in keeping with the overall events of the evening, Pirates’ attacks eventually fizzled out, and Leydon for the Lynx was able to break away and score a shorthanded empty net effort to finish off a very disappointing night for the home team, the scoreline reading 4-1 to Aberdeen after 60 minutes.

Pirates will be greatly disturbed by another sub standard performance which has seen the high hopes of only a month ago come down to earth with a bump. Their much vaunted attacking force is clearly misfiring at the moment, and they travel to Kilmarnock on Saturday looking to break a run which has seen them dismissed from the Scottish Cup, in addition to suffering two disappointing home defeats on the bounce.