PAISLEY PIRATES 2 DUNDEE COMETS 1
Pirates maintained their 100% home record in all competitions this season as they ground out a narrow victory against a very good Comets side, which once again proved to be the most testing of competitors at the Braehead Arena.
In an even first period, both sides enjoyed periods of possession, but in truth neither side troubled the respective netminders with any regularity. While Pirates did attack quickly and enter the Comets’ zone on a frequent basis, their final pass often let them down, while the swift skating breaks of the visitors got them into the heart of the home defence, which stood firm under regular pressure from the Comets forwards. The only goal of the period came in the 17th minute, as with Pirates’ Cowan rejoining the action after sitting out a penalty for Hooking, team mate Martyn Guy spotted him on his own, and a through pass left him clear to skate in on the undefended Michie in the visitors’ net and slip the puck home for the only goal of the period.
Pirates were caught napping at the start of the middle session as, straight from the opening face off, Comets skated through and McIntosh was able to net with only five seconds on the clock to tie the scores at 1-1. Both sides had chances to take the lead for the remainder of the session, the best of these possibly falling to Pirates’ Wilson who went one on one with Michie, only for the goalie to pull off a great save and keep the scores level, but once again defences were on top and with 20 minutes remaining the scores remained level at one apiece.
With all to play for in the final session both sides could have gone ahead, and Pirates’ Riddell was presented with an early Christmas present as he was gifted the puck in front of goal, but once again Michie saved his side with a great save. However, just after the halfway point in the game, and with former Pirate Gordon Nelson sitting out a Tripping call, the outcome of the match was decided in the space of under two minutes. First, the shorthanded Comets broke clear two on none, only for netminder Meechan to pull off a spectacular double save, then as Nelson was about to come back on the ice, and with Pirates enjoying a sustained period of pressure, Stuart Miller backhanded the puck past Michie for the deciding goal.
A nailbiting finish was ensured, however, as with less than 3 minutes left, Pirates’ Chris Turley was called for Tripping, and with Comets eventually pulling Michie for the extra skater they enjoyed a spell on 6 on 4, and then 6 on 5, for the remaining 30 seconds, but the Pirates’ defence held firm to record a vital win for the home club, who now move above the Comets in the League table.