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Paisley Pirates match reports

paisley pirates


In front of easily their largest crowd of the season, Pirates recorded a critical 4-3 win over nearest challengers Aberdeen to move clear at the top of the Scottish National League, but once again their supporters had to endure several fraught period during the game.

paisley pirates

The home side were on the powerplay within a minute and with the extra space, Wilson linked up with Miller and Hassan to put them ahead wiles than two minutes on the clock. The importance of the game was clearly felt by the players on both sides as during the period there was a regular flow of penalties called, but with both goalies in good form there was no other disturbance to the scoreboard, Pirates going in at the first break holding a narrow one goal advantage.

The Renfrewshire side came out the blocks quickly in the middle session and had doubled their advantage with only fifty seconds played, as Jordan Ross was up with the forward to score a rare goal, Chalmers in the visitors net getting a hand to the puck, but was unable to stop it going over the line. With chances coming at both ends again it was something of a surprise that it took until the halfway point in the period for another goal to come, as a shot parried by Chalmers was bundled over the line by the onrushing Orr, the goal standing in spite of protests from the visitors. Aberdeen were back in it a few minutes later, though, as Laing pulled one back with a rocket shot from just inside the blue line to give his team some hope at 3-1 going into the final session.

Once again, the final session also began with a goal within two minutes of the restart, but this time it was to put Lynx right back in it , a speculative cross come shot by Dyer deceiving everyone to finish in Meechan’s net an pull the score back to 3-2. Pirates continued to have marginally the better of the play and at the halfway point they scored a great goal as Johnston took the puck forward and waited until Blair was in the perfect position to slot it behind Chalmers to provide a little insurance with the lead doubled once again. However, Pirates’ fans once again had the chance to bite their fingernails as with less than five minutes to go they were playing off a 5 on 3 disadvantage with both Jordan and Thorpe sitting our minor penalties. They safely negotiated the first part but lost a goal with less than 4 minutes left as McIntosh scored to bring it back to a one-goal game again. With the visitors looking to pull their netminder for the extra skater in the last minute, they lost their momentum as Findlay was penalised for Slashing, and Pirates safely kept the puck in their possession to record a crucial win.



Pirates withstood a Capitals fightback to claim a point in Edinburgh and extend their lead at the top of the SNL table.

In a tight opening period, the visitors had more of the play than the hosts, with Mallinson in the home goal regularly called into action, but it wasn’t until the 18th minute that Pirates took the lead with the only goal of the session, Riddell scoring the vital opening marker to send his team in at the break nursing their slender lead.

In the middle session, Edinburgh were first on the board after 25 minutes as Hay netted the first of a double to square the match, but before the halfway point in the game Pirates’ lead was restored as Campbell beat Mallinson to make it 2-1, and with team mate Guy also getting on the scoresheet with less than six minutes of the period remaining, it was looking good for the visitors as the clock ran down. However, with only seconds remaining in the session, the Caps were right back in it as Wallace scored to bring it back to 3-2 at the break.

Pirates were continuing to incur the wrath of referee Graham, who meted out 54 minutes in penalty minutes to the visitors, and once again they lost a powerplay goal at the halfway point in the final session, their third such loss of the night, as Hay netted his second while the home side had the extra player. The visitors continued to push for a winner, but in the final two minutes of play their efforts were thwarted as the home goal was separated from its moorings on no fewer than six occasions, all without penalty, and at the end they had to settle for a draw which puts them a further point ahead of the chasing pack.

Pirates face the Capitals in the return match for more vital league points this Sunday at Braehead Arena, face off at 6.00pm.

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paisley pirates

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.

paisley pirates

“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.

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paisley pirates

In a match billed as a Christmas cracker, the sixty minutes of play certainly lived up to the pre match publicity, as Pirates, minus a number of key players and with several taking to the ice with injuries or illness which might normally have ruled them out of the game, overcame the significant challenge of the Kirkcaldy Kestrels to win a pulsating match 8-5.

paisley pirates

The visitors, knowing that a win was crucial to their lingering hopes of retaining their SNL title, had the better of the opening exchanges as Pirates fought to get to grips with their re-jigged lines, and in the 7th minute the latter’s lethal touch in front of goal was illustrated as David Orr pounced on a Miller pass to beat Little for the opener. Within two minutes the lead was doubled as the roles were reversed, and with Pirates scoring a third through Man of the Match Marc Crute on the powerplay with less than 12 minutes on the clock they looked home bankers, but in spite of having several more gilt edged chances they were unable to add to the 3-0 scoreline before the first break.

With the second period underway the visitors had several chances to get themselves back in the games but it wasn’t until after the midway stage that they got on the scoreboard, and within the space of only two minutes they had pulled level through Robertson, Floyd (on the powerplay), and Smith, but coach Ian Turley sensibly called for a time out to settle his troops down and take the sting out of the visitors’ surge, and his strategy paid off as David Orr netted with under two minutes of the period remaining to send his team in with a narrow 4-3 advantage.

Pirates appeared to have learned from their middle session sag as they came out for the final session with all guns blazing, goals from Crute and Wilson pushing their advantage to 6-3 within 3 minutes of the restart before the Kestrels had found their second wind. However, the visitors came back again, and goals from Anderson and Duncan had reduced the deficit to one before the halfway point, with Pirates’ fans again chewing their fingernails in anticipation of a final fraught 10 minutes.  Once again, they were the ones cheering as first Miller, netting his second, then Crute, completing his hat trick by skating beyond 3 defenders to score the eighth goal, in the space of two minutes, ensured that the points were staying in Paisley, in spite of Kestrels pulling their netminder with as much as four minutes to go in a brave, but vain, attempt to keep the game alive. With the noise level escalating rapidly in the final few minutes, Pirates safely crossed the finishing line to record another important victory.

Pirates may have played a better quality of hockey in some of their games in recent times, but this display was more about the guts of the players in depleted circumstances, standing up to the significant challenge presented by a very good Kirkcaldy side and showing that in adversity they had the ability to come through. For their part, it’s unlikely that any spectator attending the match left the arena feeling they had not had value for their money.

The players have a well earned 3 week break from matches over the festive period, returning to competitive action, in a break from their normal routine, on Saturday 7 January when they take on table toppers Aberdeen Lynx at Braehead Arena (face off 5.00pm).


Scorers:          Crute (3+0), Orr & Miller (both 2+2), Wilson (1+2), Guy (0+2), I. Turley, Thorp, Blair & Hassan (all 0+1)

Penalties:        Crute & C Turley (both 4), Guy, I. Turley, Orr, Meechan & Wilson (all 2)

Man of the Match: MARC CRUTE

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paisley pirates

Pirates shook off any sluggishness following their five-week layoff to record a comprehensive 9-2 home win against a resilient Tigers side which kept going until the end.

paisley pirates

The home side, minus several key players, were out of the blocks the faster and were ahead in the 5th minute as Crute latched onto a Blair pass to slip a backhanded effort under Balfour for the opening goal. The visitors were having their fair share of possession but found Meechan in excellent form for Pirates and with almost 12 minutes played Pirates were two in front as Bain squeezed the puck home to send his side in after a first period which had seen the home team play off several numerical disadvantages without damage.

Pirates continued to rack up penalties in the middle session as they incurred the displeasure of referee Elliott and on their sixth powerplay of the night Tigers were back in the game as McLeod forced the puck beyond Meechan to halve the deficit. Their relief was short lived, however, as within a minute Miller has fired an unsaveable bullet past Balfour, and only 30 seconds later it was four as player/coach Ian Turley scored a rare marker as he shot under the Tigers netminder in precise fashion to give his side some breathing space at 4-1. The goals continued to come and Blair went through, rounded Balfour, before flicking nonchalantly into the net to add to the total, and with only five seconds of the period to go it was six as Hassan fired home to make it 6-1 at the second interval.

With the match over as a contest, Tigers grabbed a consolation second after two minutes of the final session, but normal service was resumed  as Hassan grabbed his second at the halfway point, with Thorp and Crute, the latter getting his second goal, taking the scoreline to an emphatic 9-2 by the final whistle.

Pirates will be pleased at overcoming another potential banana skin, and minus several important players, and now look forward to the visit of Kirkcaldy next Sunday night at Braehead, in a match which sees league champions Kestrels face current Scottish Cup holders in a match which has all the potential of a Christmas cracker in the final SNL fixture of 2016. Face off is at the usual time of 6.00pm.

Scorers:          Crute (2+2), Hassan (2+0), Thorp (1+3), Bain, Blair & Miller (all 1+1), I. Turley (1+0), Crawford & Orr (both 0+2), Wilson, Johnston & Hamilton (all 0+1)

Penalties:        Bain 4, Johnston, Blair, Jordan. Hassan, McLaughlin, Thorp (all 2)

Man of the Match: Richard Thorp

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paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates have given their backing to a festive drive by local organisations to help families in the area experience some Christmas cheer next month, by asking fans to donate items and bring them to the club’s next home game against Dundee Tigers on Sunday 11 December.

paisley pirates

“Our Supporters Club has already been in touch with representatives from the Trussell Trust and Renfrewshire Foodbank to discuss what we can do,” said chairwoman Marie Cadenhead. “They’ll be at our game on 11 December and we’re asking our fans to show their traditional generosity by bringing along food items, selection boxes, indeed any item which might make this Christmas a little easier for local families. I’m sure our fans will respond in numbers to the initiative and I’m hoping that the representatives from the two agencies will need a lot of boxes to carry away the donations from supporters.”

Coach Ian Turley also commented, “We always stress that we are a community club wanting to give something back for all the support we receive, and this is an ideal opportunity for us to show that desire in a very practical way, by hopefully bringing a smile to some faces, for whom Christmas might otherwise be a very difficult time. Like Marie, I’m in no doubt that our fans will respond in quantity and it’s a hugely worthwhile project to be involved in. I can only recommend it wholeheartedly to all our supporters and, indeed, to everyone in the wider community. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to make a difference and I really hope we can do that, and, by doing so, reinforce the message about the festive period being a time for giving.”

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paisley pirates

A charity ice hockey match organised by a grateful dad has raised an amazing amount for two vital neonatal units, after they helped save his baby daughter’s life.

paisley pirates

Ross Andreucci, a member of the 2013 Paisley Pirates championship winning side and now playing for Kilmarnock Storm in the Scottish National League, is amazed, not to say humbled, by the support he received after he decided to raise money for the Crosshouse and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Neonatal Units when his daughter Millie received 24 hour, round the clock, care after weighing only 180 grams at birth.

“I felt a simple “thank you” to the people who gave Millie all the care she needed during the first few months of her life was insufficient after all they’d done for her.. She was so small, it was months before we got her home, and I had to do something to recognise all that they did for her. I spoke to a few folk I know in the ice hockey world and the response was just overwhelming. So many folk wanted to play, or help out with some of the jobs needing done to make a game of ice hockey take place, it really was a humbling experience to have so many folk wanting to take part in the event. It’s also true to say I’ve got a far greater appreciation now of what it takes to run an ice hockey club now, I was a nervous wreck in the days and weeks leading up to the game, which took place at Ayr Ice Rink on 12 November.”

The match resulted in a 9-6 win for the pink team against their purple opponents, both teams made up of players playing for Scottish National League teams, recreational sides, and even players who came out of retirement just to take part, but the result really wasn’t important as the event raised a staggering £5,443 which will go to both neonatal units and allow them to purchase vital life saving equipment.

Ross went on, “I’ll never be able to properly thank all the folk who helped make the event an overwhelming success, from those who baked and sold cakes on the day, to those who donated items for an auction, the players who turned up to play, and even just the people who turned up to watch the game. We had an attendance which a few clubs would be happy to see at their games, and it just goes to show that the ice hockey community really does turn out in numbers to support one of their own. They made the event the success it was, and I just want them to know I’ll never forget their generosity. I’ve already been asked if I’m running another event next year so the work for that one is already underway. After the success of this year’s inaugural match I’m hoping to make the next one even bigger and better.”



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Paisley Pirates Christmas Offer

paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates are entering into the Christmas spirit by offering local community groups the chance to come and watch their local ice hockey team for special festive admission prices.

paisley pirates

“We’ve got two very tough games coming up on the two Sundays just before Christmas, as we take on the Dundee Tigers on 11 December, and we’re at home again the following weekend, which is the last match before the temporary halt to fixtures over Christmas and New Year,” said coach Ian Turley. “We’ll be starting both matches at 6.00pm and we think it’s a great opportunity for local organisations to give their members a special Christmas treat without breaking the bank. For group bookings, the cost will work out at considerably less than our normal admission prices, which means massive savings for groups coming along. We think, in these difficult economic times, these rates won’t be beaten, particularly when compared against other forms of entertainment at that time of year. We have to stress that the deal isn’t open to away fans travelling in numbers.”

He continued, “We anticipate that both games will be very difficult ones for the boys and, in turn, therefore, very entertaining, not to mention exciting, for spectators, and we think it’s a great way to encourage local community groups to come along and watch a game, make it a special night out for their members, and give us a wee bit extra encouragement all at the same time. We are forever preaching to folk that we are a local club run by the community, for the community, and in the community, and we believe we should be putting back into it some of the support we get on a regular basis, and this is one of the best ways we can think of to fulfil that desire.”

“We won’t be difficult to deal with in terms of negotiating a price for local group bookings, other than to stress that they must be made and confirmed before the match concerned, as for health & safety reasons we need to know about any large groups coming in advance of their arrival so that we have appropriate stewarding in place. Group leaders should get in touch with us via our website, paisleypirates@gmail.com, and we’ll be delighted to make sure they have a great experience when their organisation comes to watch the Paisley Pirates in action. These deals have become increasingly popular with local groups in previous years, so there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that they’d best not wait too long to make their booking, just in case our ship has sailed without them!”

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paisley pirates

Honours, points, and six goals were shared in this top of the table clash which saw both teams retain their unbeaten records to date.

paisley pirates

The visitors had the advantage of an early powerplay, with Lynx’s Reynolds sitting out a Tripping call as early as the 5th minute, and they took full advantage as Miller was on hand to finish off a sequence with Wilson and Campbell for the opener within a minute. Both sides swopped periods of ascendancy as penalty calls were exchanged, but it was actually during a period of five on five that Aberdeen got back on level terms as Malcolm beat Meechan, the latter conceding his first goal in over two hours of play stretching back over a month, with just over two minutes remaining, to tie a tight game at 1-1 after the first session.

Pirateshttp://www.paisley.org.uk/2016/11/paisley-pirates-christmas-offer/ were quicker out of the blocks in the middle period and regained the lead in only ninety seconds, this time Campbell netting with assistance from Turley to put his side back in front for the second time. In spite of both teams having spells of pressure it wasn’t until after the halfway point that the scoreboard changed again, the hosts again equalising, this time through Leyden, to tie the scores up at 2-2 as they headed for the dressing room with all to play for in the final 20 minutes of an enthralling match.

Into the final period, and while Pirates took two penalties in succession, they managed to play them off without incident, but lost a critical third goal on 47 minutes as McIntosh was on hand to give the home side the lead for the first time, Pirates’ coach Ian Turley called a 30 second time out at this juncture, and his words of wisdom seemed to have the desired effect, as his troops fought back well and were level with just under six minutes remaining as Wilson fired home from Miller and Hassan to tie the scores for the third time. Pirates did have the chance to win the game in the latter stages, with Callum McEachran sitting out a double minor, but the hosts survived and took a point to both keep their own unbeaten record going, and become the first side to take one from the Paisley side..

Pirates now face a long period of inactivity before returning to action against Dundee Tigers on Sunday 11 December at Braehead Arena.

Scorers: Wilson, Campbell & Miller (all 1+1), Turley & Hassan (both 0+1)

Penalties: Thorp 4, Spiers, Blair, Turley & Hassan (all 2)

Shots on Goal: Lynx (C. Chalmers) 22
Pirates (Meechan) 24

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paisley pirates

The local ice hockey community is rallying round a very special young lady and her family to raise money for a local hospital which helped save her life when she was born.

paisley pirates

Young Millie Andreucci was born on Burns’ Day, 25 January, but she weighed only 20 ounces after arriving 14 weeks prematurely, and her parents feared the worst. “She was absolutely tiny when she was born, she fitted into the palm of my hand, but she is a real fighter and with Crosshouse Hospital’s Neonatal Unit providing 24 hour round the clock care for a number of months, she pulled round,” said dad Ross Andreucci, a member of the Kilmarnock Storm ice hockey team which plays in the Scottish National Ice Hockey League, and a member of the Paisley Pirates championship winning side of 2013.

“It was four and a half months before we got her home, during which time she spend 3 weeks in a Glasgow neonatal unit, as it took a while before she was pronounced fit enough to join the rest of her family, but it was well worth the wait after all the trials and tribulations of the previous few months,” he went on. “She’s now a fighting 11 lb 11 ounces and you wouldn’t know in looking at her how much she’s already been through in her short life. We’re so proud of her and just so delighted that she’s home and with us now.”

Ross, who works as a groundsman at Ayr Racecourse, explained how he and his partner wanted to do something practical to say “Thank you” for what they had done for Millie, and that was where the idea of the charity ice hockey match began to come together. “I spoke to a few team mates who play with me at Kilmarnock, guys like former Pirates Kris Underwood and Scott Blackwell, and even talked Graeme Lester, a big favourite with the Paisley Pirates in his hey day, out of retirement to play, but I’ve had support from all over. Cold Blooded Sports have donated items to the event, and all the jerseys will bear the name “Millie’s Marvels”. We’ve got a few other fundraising projects on during the match like a prize auction and an open skating session between 3.15pm and 4.00pm, and all money made will of course go to the Neonatal Unit at Crosshouse Hospital. So many people have come forward and offered their services free of charge, it’s heartwarming to see how folk have rallied round to support this event, which will take place at the Ayr Ice Rink, Limekilns Rd, at 5.00pm next Saturday. I’m hoping we’ll get a healthy turnout of fans for the game, as every admission means more vital funds will be raised for an absolutely vital service which, as we know only too well, literally saves lives.”

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paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates took time out from their on ice exploits to play “good neighbour” at the weekend, lending the Braehead Clan a netminder when the Elite League team faced a crisis as a result of an injury to their first choice goalie, Michael Zajkowski.

paisley pirates

“I got a call from Gareth Chalmers from the Clan at tea time on Friday night asking if we could help them out, as they had two tough games coming up on the Saturday and Sunday against Belfast Giants and Nottingham Panthers respectively,” said Pirates coach Ian Turley.

“We didn’t want them to go into a match at that late stage in the week without a back up, so we were happy to lend them Calum Hepburn, who in turn is with us on a two way contract with Solway Sharks, and Calum was happy to go. Because he’s not had a lot of ice time with us this year as a result of Graeme Meechan’s excellent form, and bearing in mind that he’s covered for the Clan before, he was the obvious choice.”

He went on, “It did leave us with only one goalie for our match at North Ayr on Saturday, but we’re never going to stand in the way of any player who’ll get the chance of picking up the experience you’ll get dressing for an Elite League side, whether or not you actually get on the ice. We always preach to players that we’re here to develop them and make them better, and clearly getting the experience of mixing with Elite League players is going to be part of that development if an opportunity appears.”

“I think that makes 4 goalies which the Clan have dressed at least who have very clear Pirates’ connections-their current back up goalie Gary Russell started his career with us, they had Finnish star Jarkko Suomolainen for a season and he played for us during our time at the Lagoon, and two of our goalies, Calum Hepburn and Colin McGill a couple of years ago have helped out at short notice when they needed a back up.”

“I do think that it’s possible for SNL clubs like ourselves to develop players capable of playing in the Elite League, and I would like to think that if the Clan need any back up from us at any time, they’ve only got to come and ask.”