Paisley Pirates head North this weekend as they undertake their longest journey of the year to face Moray Typhoons in another SNL fixture, and fresh from their pulsating 3-1 win over Edinburgh Capitals last Sunday which took them to third place in the SNL standings.
“It was an important win for us,” said coach Ian Turley, as he reflected on the victory against Pirates’ eastern rivals. “We lost Stuart Miller early on after he took an accidental knock and that upset our rhythm a bit, as it forced us to re-shuffle the lines a little, but these are the kind of games you have to win and I like to think it showed the strength of character we’re displaying these days. We had to fight for every puck against the Caps and I thought that while we weren’t playing with the fluidity I’ve seen us show at other times, we’re developing the ability to win even when it’s maybe not as pretty as you’d like. Make no mistake, this team has a load of grit and determination and I think it showed on Sunday against opponents who aren’t short on those qualities either.”
“As I’ve been saying all year, the standard in this league continues to rise, and you can’t look at any game and reckon “it’s two points in the bag,” Turley stressed. Edinburgh were runaway leaders earlier in the season, but they’ve lost a few matches recently, and while they’re certainly not out of anything at this stage, there’s four or five teams at least in with a shout of making the playoffs. It shows that you really have to prepare properly for every game and take nothing for granted, as there are plenty of teams able and willing to turn you over at the moment if your standards drop a fraction.”
“We’re on a good run just now”, he went on, “and the guys have earned every credit they’ve been receiving, while we’re playing with the confidence that comes from being on a run. Having said all of that, we’ve got a tricky away match at Elgin this coming Saturday and, as we found to our cost in the Scottish Cup there last season, it’s a very different proposition playing the Typhoons in their own place, than it is on the wide open spaces of Braehead. The rink is tight, there always seems to be a lot of players on the ice, and it’s a completely different kind of game to that which supporters are used to seeing us play at home.”
“We have to remember that while we received two very welcome points in beating the Caps on Sunday, you get exactly the same reward for beating anyone else, and that’s the attitude we’re taking on the run in towards the end of the regular season-no looking too far ahead, no anticipating what might happen in the weeks and months ahead, the only priority for us right now is to go to Elgin on Saturday and, hopefully, come away with the points-otherwise it will have wasted the hard work and effort we put into defeating the Capitals-one game at a time, concentrate on getting the preparation right for that match, and then move on after it-that’s the mantra from here on in!”