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.